Basketball (W)

Lady Indians Upend Rival Lenoir-Rhyne 82-74

HICKORY, N.C. – Head Coach Terrence Baxter’s subtle change in his starting lineup paid huge dividends for the Catawba women’s basketball team as they overcame an eight-point first quarter deficit at rival Lenoir-Rhyne’s Shuford Memorial Gym Wednesday.

Behind a career-high 18 points by sophomore Anna Gardner, the Indians improved to 10-7 overall and 5-5 in the South Atlantic Conference, with an 82-74 victory. The Bears dropped to 9-9 on the season, including 4-6 in league action.

Gardner, who came off the bench the last seven games, went 7-of-11 (64 percent) from the floor and knocked down three of her five attempts from 3-point range.

Hot shooting early from the Bears staked them to their largest lead of the game at 18-10 with six minutes, 31 seconds remaining in the opening quarter. The Lady Indians matched the Bears’ opening run over the next six and a half minutes, evening the score at 28-28. Catawba rode the momentum and led 41-37, after the first 20 minutes of play.

After the teams trade small runs in the third period, Catawba carried a five-point lead into the final 10 minutes at 54-49.

In the highest scoring quarter of the contest, the Lady Indians secured the victory with a 28-25 advantage in the final stanza. During the frame, Gardner netted 13 points, knocking down 5-of-6 shots from the field including all three triples.

Talia Barnes and Taisha DeShazo joined Gardner in double-digit scoring with 17 and 13 points. Shemya Stanbeck snagged a team-high 10 rebounds and Mercedes Wampler’s five assists paced the squad.

Kendell Toineeta dropped a game-high 25 points, leading three Bears with at least 10 points. Madi Suddreth tallied 15, while Kennedy Weight netted 14.

Inside the Numbers:
- Catawba owned the paint, outscoring Lenoir-Rhyne 28-12.
- The Lady Indians moved into a fifth-place tie in the South Atlantic Conference.
- Catawba converted 16-of-17 (94 percent) free-throw attempts, while the Bears went 10-for-13 (77 percent) from the line.
- The Indians are 6-4 in their last 10 contests, alternating wins and losses over the last seven.
- Lenoir-Rhyne leads the all-time series 43-39.

Next Up:
Catawba concludes the three-game road trip in Greeneville, Tennessee Saturday. Start time for the contest between the Lady Indians and Tusculum is 2 p.m.

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