Basketball (W)

Johnson's 28 Points Leads Women's Basketball to Opening Win


CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Catawba rallied in the second half to claim a 76-67 win over Mount Olive in women's basketball action at a SAC/CC Challenge at Queens' Levine Center on Friday night.  Bri Johnson (Statesville, N.C./N. Iredell/Belmont Abbey), scored a game-high 28 points, one off her career high, in leading the Catawba Indians to the victory in the season opener for both teams.  

Johnson nearly posted a double-double, adding nine rebounds to her 28 points.  Emma Ucinski (Atlanta, Ga./St. Pius X)  also reached double figures with 12 points and dished out four assists.  Terri Rogers (Burlington, N.C./E. Alamance) and Serena Brown (Ft. Washington, Md./Bowie) each chipped in with eight points.

Mount Olive led 20-17 after a quarter and built the advantage to 33-27 late in the half.  Catawba ran off six straight points to pull even before the Trojans took a 35-33 lead at the break. 

The Lady Indians raced out of the gates to start the third quarter.  Baskets by Johnson, Brown and Ucinski gave Catawba a 39-35 lead.  When Johnson converted a four-point play three minutes into the half, Catawba was up 44-37 and eventually led by as many as nine.

The Trojans rallied in the final five minutes of the quarter, cutting the Catawba lead to 48-47 on a pair of free throws by Jada Bacchus.  two free throws by Tommarah Harris with three seconds left in the quarter gave Mount Olive a 53-52 lead, but Morgan Franklin (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian) beat the buzzer with a three-pointer to give Catawba a 55-53 edge going to the final 10 minutes.

Johnson started the final quarter with a three-pointer for Catawba and Ucinski's layin made it 60-53 with 8:40 left.  The Trojans got as close as 62-59 on a layup by Arieal Johnson with 5:04 left, but Catawba scored six straight points then salted the win away at the line.  The Lady Indians canned 8-of-10 from the stripe in the final minute.

Johnson posted 21 points, grabbed 20 rebounds and blocked eight shots in a losing effort for Mount Olive.  Bacchus followed with 10 points.   

 Catawba continues play at the Challenge on Saturday, facing Barton at 2 pm.

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