Basketball (W)

Locklear propels Women's Basketball into SAC Semifinals

   HICKORY, N.C. - Conference Player of the Year, Danyel Locklear (Pembroke, NC), scored 27 points and added nine rebounds as top-seeded Catawba College defeated Newberry 70-54 in the first round of the Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Basketball Tournament at the Multipurpose Facility at Catawba Valley Community College. Catawba improves to 20-8 on the season and advances to the Saturday 3:30 semifinal against Tusculum at CVCC. Newberry ends its season at 5-23.
Newberry controlled the first half and led 28-25 at the break behind 11 points by Laura Banda (Holcomb, KS). Newberry shot 45.5% in the opening half and held a 20-14 edge on the boards.  Catawba shot just 32% in the opening half, but heated up in the final 20 minutes.

Catawba opened the second half on a 9-0 run and would never trail after taking a 29-28 lead on a layup by Locklear with 18:49 remaining. Newberry hung tough and were behind only 42-39 with 10 minutes remaining. Catawba would again make a push as a Christina Carmon (Stafford, VA) three-point play ignited an 11-1 run that put Catawba on top 55-41 with 4:31 left.

After a poor shooting first half, Catawba canned 63.6% (14-of-22) in the final half and made 17-of-20 (85%) at the line. Freshman Tamekia Foster (Chesapeake, VA) turned in her second double-double of the season with a season-high equaling 15 points and 10 boards. Isiaette Darden (Wilson, NC) added 11 points off the bench. Banda was the only Newberry player to reach double figures with 16.  Lauren Wrightson (Damascus, MD) had nine points, while Tonya Deese (Prosperity, SC) had eight points and eight rebounds.

At the half, I told the team we had to take better shots and cut down on our turnovers, said Catawba coach Angie Morton. We had to get the ball inside. Newberry is a tough team, but I think they may have run out of gas. To their credit, they kept fighting to the end.

Our women competed today, stated Newberry coach Jason Brink. They showed how hard they have worked the last month. After losing to Catawba by only two points, we knew we had an opportunity to compete. Locklear was the difference. She proved why she was the player of the year. She makes everyone around her better.


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