Basketball (W)

Second half rally falls short as Women's Basketball loses at Tusculum

GREENEVILLE, TN Catawba College fought back from an 18-point second half deficit, but four late free throws from Tusculum College's Julie Maples (Knoxville, TN) sealed the deal as the Pioneers upset the Lady Indians 98-94 in South Atlantic Conference women's basketball action Wednesday night at Alpine Arena. Tusculum improves to 7-8 overall and 1-1 in the SAC, while Catawba falls to 9-6 and 1-1. The Pioneers built a 13-point lead midway through the first half on a three-pointer from freshman Beth Bryant (Greeneville, TN) and led by 17 in the final minute of the opening period before taking a 48-35 advantage into halftime. Catawba shot just 35.9 percent in the first half compared to 48.6 percent for Tusculum. TC continued their momentum after the break, as sophomore forward Amber Redding (Sevierville, TN) opened the half with an old fashioned three-point play. Another three pointer from Redding, this time from long range, gave Tusculum its largest lead of the game at 58-40 with 17:54 to play. From there, Catawba started the rally, scoring the next nine points, seven from the hands of junior guard Ashley Cox (Richmond, VA). After the teams traded trifectas, the Pioneers scored four straight to kick their lead back up to 13, but Catawba answered with another run, this time 12-2, and Tusculum never led by double digits again as the Lady Indians trailed by just three, 67-64, with 11:11 remaining in the game. Every time Tusculum seemed to gain control, Catawba would respond with a run of its own to get back in the game. The Pioneers led by nine (79-70) at the 7:19 mark, but five points in seven seconds from the Lady Indians pulled them back within four. Tusculum led by as many as six on two occasions late in the contest, but with 1:19 to play, senior forward Danyel Locklear (Pembroke, NC) hit the first of two free throws to make the score 92-90 in favor of the Pioneers. Maples hit two from the charity stripe but a put-back from Catawba senior forward Aisha Stewart (Topeka, KS) and a turnover by the Pioneers gave the Lady Indians a chance to take their first lead of the game since the 17:55 mark of the first half. A three from Stewart went off the rim, and after a mad scramble, Tusculum junior guard Kari Karns (Pilot Mountain, NC) emerged with the ball and heaved it downcourt to freshman guard LaShay Collier (Wise, VA) who went in uncontested for a layup. A technical foul put Maples on the line again as she hit the final two of her 21 to ice it. Cox led all scorers with a career-high 27 points and dished out five assists and grabbed five rebounds. Locklear notched her 11th double-double of the season with 19 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. The Pioneers placed five in double figures, led by Maples' 21 and sophomore forward Kelley Karns (Pilot Mountain, NC), who scored 19 on 8-of-11 shooting. Redding hit a new career high with 17 points. #####

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