Friday, December 31, 2010

Catawba posts fourth straight win, rallying past Belmont Abbey

SALISBURY, NC -- Catawba rallied to pull out a 63-58 win over visiting Belmont Abbey in women’s basketball action on Friday afternoon at Goodman Gym. Dana Hicks (York, SC/Gaston Day) scored six key points down the stretch, finishing with 18 points and 13 rebounds, to help the Catawba Indians improve to 8-4. The Crusaders fell to 2-6.

Hicks’ double-double was her tenth of the season for Catawba. Kisha Long (Dallas, NC/Gaston Day) added 14 points and Milica Ivanovic (Belgrade, SERBIA/Sports High/Bethel) 11 for the Lady Indians, who won for the fourth straight time.

Shayla Jackson (Knoxville, TN) just missed a double-double for Belmont Abbey as she had 18 points and nine rebounds. Kelsey Long (Pilot Mountain, NC) added a dozen points, while Paula Regalado (Roanoke, TX) pitched in with 11 points and six rebounds.

Belmont Abbey took an 11-point lead early in the second half at 44-33 following a three-pointer by Brittaney Rice (Milton, VT). Catawba would rally back and tie the game just inside the 10 minute mark. Lewis and Kisha Long hit back-to-back three-pointers and when Anna Dellapenta (Thomasville, NC/E. Davidson HS/Elon) converted a layup following a steal the game was knotted at 48-all.

Elizabeth Merritt (Lexington, NC/E. Davidson HS) gave Catawba its first lead since the six-minute mark of the opening half at 53-52 on a jumper with 5:57 to go. Kelsey Long pulled the Crusaders even on a free throw with 5:38 left, but a quick layup by Kisha Long after a steal and consecutive put backs by Hicks moved Catawba ahead 59-53 with 3:37 remaining.

Belmont Abbey cut the margin to three points with 40 seconds left after a three-pointer by Kelsey Long and a jumper by Jackson. Kisha Long sank two free throws for Catawba with 33 seconds to go and after Hicks grabbed a rebound following a Crusader miss, the Lady Indians ran out the clock.

Catawba led 18-13 in the opening half, but Belmont Abbey surged ahead with a 16-5 run to lead 29-23 late in the frame. The Lady Indians scored the final six points of the half to draw even at the break. The Crusaders then raced to its early second half edge.

Catawba was aided by 18 Belmont Abbey turnovers, while the Lady Indians committed just 10 miscues. Both teams shot just over 40%, but Catawba canned half of its attempts (12-of-24) in the second stanza.

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