College basketball: Catawba women return from third COVID pause, lose a tough one
SALISBURY — Catawba’s women’s basketball team returned from its third COVID pause on Saturday and dropped a hard-fought 68-63 struggle with 12th-ranked Carson-Newman.
Playing for the first time in almost three weeks, Catawba trailed by as many as 15 points in the first half, but clawed its way back. It was a one-point game heading to the fourth quarter and Catawba finally got even for the first time with 3:06 left in the game.
Janiya Downs, the former South Rowan phenom, had another strong game for the Indians with 20 points and eight rebounds. She shot 8-for-15 from the field. She made three 3-pointers and was 4-for-4 on free throws.
Downs has been in a sixth-person role for the Indians, but leads the team in scoring with 12 points per game in just 17.5 minutes per game. She played 28 minutes on Saturday.
Lyrik Thorne had 12 points, seven steals and five assists.
Braelyn Wykle led the Eagles with 20 points.
South Atlantic Conference-leading Carson-Newman (12-1) commited 29 turnovers and allowed Catawba to snag 16 offensive rebounds, but the Eagles overcame those issues with deadly shooting.
Carson-Newman shot 54.5 percent from the floor, while Catawba shot 35.8 percent.
Carson-Newman was 7-for-12 from the 3-point line, while Catawba (5-2) was 7-for-22.
Catawba senior Taisha DeShazo scored seven points and is 20 away from 1,000.
CARSON-NEWMAN (68) — Wykle 20, Taylor 14, Smith 10, Boshears 9, Byrd 4, Hines 3, Bunch 3, Wilson 2, Pearce 2, Goforth 1.
CATAWBA (63) — Downs 20, Thorne 12, Stanback 7, DeShazo 7, McIntosh 6, Bruce 4, Phillips 3, Ford 2, Barnes 2, Wampler, Gardner, Davie.
Carson-Newman 21 14 15 18 — 68
Catawba 10 18 21 14 — 63