College Basketball: Catawba women win with defense

Published 11:13 pm Saturday, December 16, 2017

By Mike London

SALISBURY — Catawba’s hard-to-please women’s basketball coach Angie Morton was all smiles after the Indians dismantled Anderson, 63-46, on Saturday at Goodman Gym.

Catawba players listened to the scouting report and went out and executed the scouting report. When that happens, when the practice preparation and work pays off, it’s a gratifying victory for a coaching staff.

“Our defense was on point all day,” Morton said. “We stayed focused. We match up well with Anderson. We knew who we were guarding and we took away their strengths.”

Catawba didn’t shoot the ball especially well (35.4 percent), but it made Anderson shoot worse (31.5 percent). Catawba also ruled the boards, made free throws (10-for-12) and crushed Anderson in the unselfish stats (18-7 edge in assists) and hustle stats (12-4 advantage in steals).

Post player Terri Rogers got Catawba started.  Rogers, who missed a 2-footer at the buzzer in Monday’s one-point loss to Johnson C. Smith, couldn’t wait to get back on the floor. After three minutes, it was Rogers 6, Trojans 0.

“I was able to give us some momentum when we needed it, and then we were able to keep it,” said Rogers, who scored 12 in the first half and finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. “I just tried to be aggressive. Take it to the basket. Try to get fouled.”

Catawba (5-5, 3-1) knew it would be a tough South Atlantic Conference game. Anderson (8-4, 3-2) came in averaging 70 points and leading the SAC in rebounding. The Trojans lit up Newberry in their most recent outing on Wednesday, shooting 56 percent from the 3-point line.

Catawba senior guard Marshauna Butler, who is playing despite a shoulder injury, had one of the tougher defensive assignments — Alexy Mollenhauer, a sophomore guard from Texas, who normally scores an efficient 11 points per game. With Butler harassing her, Mollenhauer shot 2-f0r-13.

“I just tried to keep her from getting the ball,” Butler said. “We knew their plays and we’d practiced defending their plays. We knew they were going to try to go to 12 (Mollenhauer) and 22 (guard Ace Easter) as much as they could.”

Easter also had a tough day. She shot 3-for-16.

Catawba limited Anderson to six points in the second quarter to open a 28-18 halftime lead.

With the shot clock nearing zeroes, Catawba guard Madi Hallman drilled a 3-pointer in the final minute of the third quarter to give the Indians a 47-36 edge.

Anderson wasn’t scoring frequently enough to put together any sort of  run. Catawba maintained a double-digit lead throughout the final quarter. Anderson had to hurry shots and went 2-for-13  from the field in the final quarter.

“Anderson is a team that’s usually good at running their offense,” Rogers said. “But we played very good team defense.”

Catawba guard Serena Brown continued her high level of play with 13 points, eight assists and only two turnovers. Brown’s 3-pointer with 39 seconds left sent some people to the parking lot.

Hallman scored 11, Butler scored 10. The Indians got five points each off the bench from Toni Tucker and Talia Barnes. Alexis Newbold provided seven rebounds and some good interior defense.

“We fouled too much in the fourth quarter, but if you take that away we played close to a perfect game defensively,” Morton said. “A lot of players had solid games.”

Catawba plays Wingate at Goodman Gym at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

Catawba 63, Anderson 46

ANDERSON (8-4) — Baggett 11, Easter 8, Dillard 7, Hair 6, Green 5, Mollehauer 5, Koerperich 4, Raynor, Ketchum, Martin, Hodges.

CATAWBA (5-5) — Rogers 16, Brown 13, Hallman 11, Butler 10, Barnes 5, Tucker 5, DeShazo 2, Newbold 1, Webb, Franklin, Stanback.

Anderson      16     6    15  9   — 46

Catawba       16    12     19  16 — 63