• 73°

Women’s College Basketball: Catawba women win with persistence

By Mike London
mike.london@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Catawba’s women’s basketball team turned in a stat sheet that will lose 95 percent of the time, but the Indians strolled out of Goodman Gym with smiles of relief.

Catawba was out-rebounded and out-shot from the field by visiting Coker, and you can throw in shaky 17-for-30 foul shooting and woeful 2-for-14 3-point accuracy by the Indians. Still, Catawba (8-7, 6-2) managed to beat the Cobras, 55-52, and stayed for tied for second place  in the South Atlantic Conference with Wingate.

“We fought,” Catawba senior Marshauna Butler said. “The shots weren’t falling, but we didn’t stop fighting.”

That sums it up. Coker was even or ahead for the first 36 minutes — until Terri Rogers banked in a three-point play for the Indians with 3:44 remaining.

The SAC women’s race appears to be the personal property of Carson-Newman (16-0, 8-0), but the Indians (8-7, 6-2) have as good a chance to finish runner-up as anyone.

Wednesday’s win was a study in perseverance for all the Indians, but especially for Rogers, who had the worst first half of her life. Janea Williams a 6-foot-3 transfer who played previously at North Florida and UNC Wilmington, didn’t have to jump to disrupt the 5-11 Rogers’ shots. Usually, if Catawba gets the ball to Rogers against one defender, she scores, but Rogers went 1-for-11 in the first half, trying unsuccessfully to loft shots over Williams’ outstretched arms.

“Williams is a D-I transfer and tall enough that she was bothering Terri’s shots, changing and altering her shots,” Catawba coach Angie Morton said. “Terri had played against her before when we played UNC Wilmington, but she was struggling.”

Catawba missed 23 of its first 26 field-goal attempts. When Elizabeth Webb made Catawba’s fourth field goal — and first 3-pointer — with 8:41 left in the second quarter, Catawba was down 20-11.  Catawba limped to halftime with a 31-24 deficit and was fortunate to still be in the game.

“We knew at halftime, the biggest thing was to get Terri going,” Butler said. “Somehow we had to get her going.”

Rogers would get it going. She would finish 4-for-18 from the floor, but she also made eight free throws, scored 16 points and was active on the glass. She had huge offensive rebounds, hustle rebounds, that led to second-chance points.

“I told Terri at halftime that we were still going to her,” Catawba’s senior point guard Serena Brown said. “She came up big.”

Catawba trudged uphill like a team wearing Army boots the entire third quarter but  caught a break with 31 seconds left in the quarter when Coker’s 6-2 Erin Houser went down with an injury. Houser getting hurt evened things up inside some. Catawba still trailed heading to the final 10 minutes, 43-39.

With 6:39 remaining, Catawba freshman Taisha DeShazo made a determined drive, got to the rim after a lot of right-handed dribbles. Then she shrugged off some heavy contact and finished for the three-point play that tied the game at 45-all.

With 3:44 left, Brown spotted Rogers, who had sealed off  defenders on the left side, and got her the ball. Rogers powered in the three-point play that put Catawba ahead, 49-47.

After a Coker free throw cut Catawba’s lead to one, Catawba guard Madi Hallman was fouled. Hallman missed both free throws, but Rogers chased down the rebound.  Hallman was open at the 3-point line after the scramble, and her clutch shot put the Indians up 52-48. It was her only bucket, but it couldn’t have been more timely.

“Terri’s and-one and the 3-pointer by Madi, those were huge shots,” Brown said.

Brown’s driving layup — she spun the shot in as she fell to the floor — made it 54-49 with 1:40 remaining.

With 15 seconds left, Butler made the second of two free throws for a 55-52 Catawba lead.

Coker got a timeout after Butler’s free throw to set up a potential tying 3-pointer, but Catawba did a good job of defending the 3-point line. Anderson put up three shots on its final possession, but all three attempts were 2-pointers. None were successful.

“We couldn’t make our shots, so there was never any rhythm to this game,” Morton said. “Tough night. We’ve been up and down all season.”

Wednesday night’s game was a “down.” Remarkably, it also was a win.

NOTES: Webb had three steals. … Catawba had a 23-16 edge in the turnover battle. That helped negate Coker’s advantage in shooting percentage. .. Butler hit back-to-back mid-range shots in the third quarter when Catawba was having a difficult time. … Catawba leads the series 12-3 and has won the last four meetings. … Williams had a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.  … Freshman Shemya Stanback had some good minutes for the Indians in the second quarter.

COKER (52) — Williams 11, Kropp 11, Consindine 8, Stull 7, Houser 6, McFarland 5, Hires 2, Jackson 2, Shull, Kincaid, Cooper, Johnson.

CATAWBA (55) — Rogers 16, Butler 10, Hallman 7, Brown 6, DeShazo 5, Stanback 4, Webb 3, Newbold 2, Barnes 2, Franklin 2, Gardner.

Coker             16     15    12   9  — 52

Catawba       8      16     15  16 — 55

Comments

Local

‘Meet the need’: Rowan County Health Department looks to add to vaccination options

Local

Seaford is first woman in county hired for town manager position since the ’90s

Local

Colonial Spring Frolic makes a comeback to kick off museum’s year

Local

Concord City Council wants to name bridge for fallen officer, Rowan native

Education

RSS administration will recommend selling Faith Elementary property to charter school

Business

Inspired by advice from father-in-law, Angela Mills launches her own business in memory of him

Local

Rowan County Democrats re-elect leaders, pass resolutions

Local

Baseball: Memories come alive in Ferebee book

Local

During Child Abuse Prevention Month, professionals reflect on detecting abuse in a virtual world

Business

Biz Roundup: Small Business Center announces spring slate of workshop for business owners

Clubs

Kiwanis Pancake Festival starts Friday

Local

Rowan fire marshal seeks to clear up confusion, worry caused by solicitation letter

Education

Fun every day: Fifth anniversary for Yadkin Path Montessori School

Nation/World

Charles: Royal family ‘deeply grateful’ for support for Philip

News

North Carolina sites to resume J&J vaccines after CDC review

News

Cooper OKs bill offering K-12 students summer school option

High School

High school football: Playoff time means get ready for ‘big-boy football’

High School

High school football: Hornets overpower South to secure playoff spot

Crime

Jeffrey MacDonald won’t be released despite deteriorating health

Business

Amazon warehouse workers reject union in Alabama

Nation/World

Ex-NFL player’s brain to be probed for trauma-related harm after Rock Hill shootings

Education

Duke University to require COVID vaccinations for fall term

Education

Cooper OKs bill offering K-12 students summer school option

High School

High school football: Record night for Pinckney as East cruises; Carson wins thriller in OT