Basketball (W)

Lady Indians Knocked Out of SAC Tourney in 68-58 Loss to Wingate

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WINGATE, N.C. -- The Catawba College women’s basketball team ended its season Wednesday evening with a 68-58 loss to Wingate University in the first round of the South Atlantic Conference Tournament at Cuddy Arena. The loss drops Catawba to 15-14 on the year while Wingate will move onto the semifinals with a 19-8 record. Catawba entered the game in the sixth seed as they took on the third ranked Bulldogs.

Despite challenging on multiple occasions, the Catawba Lady Indians were never able to take the lead in the game. The duo of Morgan McGee and Amber Neely opened up the game for Wingate as the Bulldogs jumped out to an early five point lead. Neely would score eight points in the first to give Wingate a 19-14 lead at the end of quarter.

In the second quarter, Catawba’s Jada Huntley opened with a three to bring the game within two. Catawba wouldn’t score a field goal for over five minutes after the basket, eliminating the Lady Indians chances of taking a lead. During the drought Wingate struggled to score for nearly four minutes themselves allowing the lead to only grow to six. In the final minute before the break Wingate rattled off six unanswered points to extend the lead to ten at 33-23. 

Going into the break, Catawba’s three leading scorers, Bri Johnson, Terri Rogers and Huntley scored just 11 points collectively. Johnson went into the half with two points while Huntley had three and Rogers six.

The Lady Indians opened the second half with a basket from Huntley and two from Serena Brown to bring the game within four. The teams would exchange baskets for a few minutes of play, but a three by Wingate’s Shelby Tricoli extended the lead back to eight at 41-33. A pair of baskets by Rogers and a three from Huntley brought the game back to three going into the final quarter of play.

The two teams traded buckets for most of the fourth quarter but free throw shooting sealed the game for Wingate over the final minute and a half of play. McGee and Robinson both went 2-for-2 in their opportunities at the line while Danasia Witherspoon went 3-for-4. The attempts resulted in an 8-2 run for Wingate before Johnson recorded a buzzer beater to end the game in a ten point deficit.

Huntley finished leading the way for Catawba with 17 points on the night and added eight rebounds in the process. Rogers contributed 12 points and six rebounds while Johnson finished with six points, four in the last minute of play. Brown ended her night with nine points and senior Emma Ucinski totaled six points.

Catawba as a whole shot 24-of-58 (41.4%) from the field, including 6-for-20 from long range. The Lady Indians didn’t see the free-throw line much but they converted 4-of-6. Catawba grabbed 29 rebounds in the game.

Wingate was led by Tricoli whose four threes helped her tally 18 points on the night. Neely added 11 points with Robinson and McGee dropping in nine each. 

The Bulldogs shot 24-for-55 (43.6%) overall and 7-for-20 from behind the arc. Wingate only made 13-of-21 attempts from the charity stripe but made up the difference in rebounding with 41.

The South Atlantic Conference Tournament will conclude over the weekend at Furman University.

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