Basketball (W)

Women's Basketball Knocks Off NCAA I Coastal Carolina

15_WBB_JOHNSON_Elon1

CONWAY, S.C. -- Catawba held Coastal Carolina without a field goal over the final sixth minutes and knocked off the NCAA I Chanticleers 63-58 in women’s basketball action on Wednesday night at the HTC Center.  It was an exhibition game for the Catawba Indians, while CCU fell to 2-3.

In a tight contest, Catawba took a lead midway through the second quarter and held the advantage for most of the game.  Bri Johnson (Statesville, N.C./N. Iredell/Belmont Abbey) scored 15 of her 26 points in the opening half to stake the Lady Indians to a 33-29 edge at the break.

Three-pointers by Johnson and Serena Brown (Ft. Washington, Md./Bowie) put Catawba up 6-2 early.  Coastal Carolina would hold several leads, the largest at 15-12 on a put back by Racheal Gregory inside the final two minutes.  The Chants led 17-16 after a period.

Johnson’s layup at the 5:04 mark of the second quarter gave Catawba a 25-23 edge, a lead it would not surrender until the fourth quarter.  The Lady Indians were threatening to break the game open with a seven-point margin (45-38) inside the final two minutes of the third quarter.

The Chanticleers got a second-chance three-pointer by Ced Gibson and a layup by Alexis Robinson to close within 45-43 with 10 minutes left.  Another Gibson three-pointer to start the fourth quarter ended an 8-0 run, giving CCU a 46-45 lead.

A layup Terri Rogers (Burlington, N.C./E. Alamance) and a three-pointer by Johnson put Catawba back on top at 52-49 with 7:18 left.  Gibson hit her third triple of the contest with 6:18 remaining to tie the game at 54-all, but CCU would score only four more points the rest of the way, all at the line.

Brown knocked down a three-pointer with 4:42 remaining, putting Catawba up to stay at 57-54.  Yasmin Miller hit one of two at the line to close the margin to 59-56 with 2:23 left, but a pair of fouls on the Chanticleers helped Catawba run the clock down inside a minute before CCU got the ball back.

Miller hit two free throws with 23 seconds left to make it a one-point game, but Johnson answered with 20 seconds left to push the lead back three at 61-58.  CCU missed a three-pointer and a layup inside the final 10 second before Johnson claimed the final rebound.  She converted two more free throws with 1.9 ticks left to seal the win.

Johnson hit on 7-of-15 shots and was a perfect 10-for-10 at the in scoring her game-high 26 points.  Rogers collected a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds.  Brown had eight points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Gibson led CCU with 16 points.  Gregory had a double-double of 14 points and 13 boards.  Robinson had eight points with 10 rebounds and Miller ended up with nine points.

Both teams shot around 35% with CCU holding a 46-39 edge on the boards.  Catawba had 15 turnovers and the Chanticleers 16.  It marked Catawba’s first win over a NCAA I opponent since the 1999-00 season with the Lady Indians topped Winthrop 60-54.

Catawba returns to league action on Saturday, traveling to Tusculum for a 2 pm tip.

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