Basketball (W)

Upset Bid Falls Short Against #9 Virginia Union

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SALISBURY, N.C. -- Virginia Union, ranked ninth in NCAA II, shot nearly 60% in the second half and got past Catawba to take a 78-69 win in women’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Goodman Gym.  The visiting Panthers improve to 4-0, while the Catawba Indians fall to 4-2.

Alexis Johnson scored 16 points and grabbed 21 rebounds to lead Virginia Union.  Lady Walker and Jayda Luckie each scored 17 points with Walker also posting a double-double by adding a dozen rebounds.  Brittany Jackson and Kishona Sutton each scored 10 points.

Terri Rogers (Burlington, N.C./E. Alamance) topped Catawba’s scoring list with a game-high 21 points.  Bri Johnson (Statesville, N.C./N. Iredell/Belmont Abbey) added 11, while Elizabeth Webb (Statesville, N.C./W. Iredell) and Alexis Newbold (Bowie, Md./Bowie) both scored eight points off the bench.

Catawba had the hot hand in the first half, shooting 45%, and led by two at 36-34.  Virginia Union had shot just 33% in the opening 20 minutes, but cashed in 14 offensive rebounds for 16 points.  As VUU heated up to 59% in the second half, the Lady Indians made only 33%.  It was Catawba that used the offensive glass to stay close, scoring 15 off 11 rebounds.

The Lady Indians built their largest margin of seven points midway through the second quarter.  A three-pointer by Johnson and a steal and layup by Morgan Franklin (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian) put Catawba on top 27-20 at the 6:38 mark.  The Panthers took the lead in the final minute before two buckets by Rogers gave Catawba its two-point lead the break.

The teams battled through a tight third quarter, but two late Catawba turnovers gave the Panthers a six-point lead after three periods.  Sutton converted a steal into a layup with 20 seconds and after another turnover, Walker beat the buzzer with a three-pointer for a 56-50 lead.

An early basket in the final quarter by Marshauna Butler (Bowie, Md./Bowie/Stony Brook) pulled Catawba within four, but the Panthers got four straight free throws and led by at least seven the rest of the way. 

Next up for Catawba is an exhibition game at Coastal Carolina on Wednesday at 7 pm.  The Lady Indians travel to Tusculum next Saturday for a 2 pm tip.

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