Basketball (W)

Women's Basketball Tip Time With Limestone Set For 5 pm


SALISBURY, N.C. -- Catawba College will tip-off against top-seeded and host Limestone at 5 pm on Friday in the first round of the 2015 NCAA II Southeast Region Women’s Basketball Tournament.  The tournament is being held at the Timken Center on the campus of Limestone College.

The tournament begins on Friday at noon with first round action.  Semifinals will be held on Saturday with the championship game on Monday.  Tickets are $5 for adults and $4 for students with ID.  There will also be a $5 charge for parking.

Catawba will be facing off against Limestone for the 10th time in women’s basketball. The teams have only met once since the late 1990s, an 81-69 Limestone win at Goodman Gym on Nov. 19, 2011.  That win is the lone victory for the Saints in the series.  The Lady Indians won the first eight meetings which dates back to the 1970-71 season.

Second team All-South Atlantic Conference picks Jada Huntley and Bri Johnson, along with SAC Freshman of the Year, Terri Rogers, pace the eighth-seeded Lady Indians.  Huntley leads four double-figure scorers at 14.8 points a game.  She is adding 9.4 rebounds and has posted 60 steals.  Johnson chips in with 13 points a game.  Rogers averages 10.8 points and 8.9 rebounds with lone Catawba senior Chloe Bully tossing in 11.6 a contest.

It will be the fifth regional appearance for Catawba.  The Lady Indians are 0-4 in regional play and last played in 2011-12 when it lost to top-seeded USC Aiken 71-69.  Catawba made three regional appearances from 2001 to 2004.  In 2001, Catawba was seeded second, but lost 80-64 to Francis Marion in the semifinals of the Columbus State regional.  Catawba hosted the 2003 regional as a fourth-seed, coming up short vs. Fayetteville State, 80-72 in the opening round.  The Lady Indians went into the 2004 regional at Shaw, losing as a seventh-seed 65-60 to Georgia College in the first round.

Limestone has won 28 straight games since a 76-67 loss to Newberry in just the second game of the season.  The Saints defeated three SAC opponents; Coker 66-44, Anderson 72-65 and Mars Hill 82-64.  The teams have three Conference Carolinas common opponents.  Catawba topped Mount Olive, Barton and Pfeiffer with Limestone earning three wins over Mount Olive and Pfeiffer and two against Barton.

The Saints sport three first team All-Carolinas Conference selections in Alicia Brookins, Jasmine Kearse and Celestra Warren.  Brookins was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year, posting 122 steals which ranks second in NCAA II.  She is second on Limestone in both scoring (14.5) and rebounding (6.9).

Kearse is leading the team in scoring at 14.9 points a game.  She has canned 99 three-pointers, hitting at just over 33%.  Warren posts a team-high 7.2 rebounds a contest and is third on the team in scoring with a 12.7 average.

As a team, Limestone averages 75 points a game and allows a mere 55 per contest.  The Saints hold a +6 rebounding margin and have helped cause 200 more turnovers than they have committed.

Friday’s first round will start with a SAC Tournament final rematch between third-seeded Anderson and sixth-seeded Newberry at noon.  The 2:30 contest pits second-seeded Columbus State vs. #7-seed Carson-Newman.  Following the Catawba-Limestone game, fourth-seeded Lander will close out the first round against fifth-seeded Wingate at 7:30 pm.

Semifinals game times for Saturday will be 5:00 for the early winners and 7:30 for the winners of the final two games on Friday.  Monday’s championship is set for 7 p.m.

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