Lady Eagles come up short in SAC opener with 68-65 loss at Catawba
SALISBURY, N.C. — A late rally by the Carson-Newman women's basketball team came up short as it fell at Catawba, 68-65, on Saturday afternoon at Goodman Gymnasium in the South Atlantic Conference opener for both teams.
The Lady Eagles trailed 56-50 midway through the second half before battling back to take a 59-58 lead on a pair of made free throws by senior Mandy Mendenhall (Kingston Springs, Tenn.). The lead then changed hands four more times before Catawba's Milica Ivanovic sank the game-winning basket with eight seconds remaining that gave the Indians a 66-65 lead.
Ivanovic then stole the ensuing inbounds pass to seal the win.
With the loss, C-N falls to 3-4 overall and 0-1 in the conference. Catawba improves to 5-4 on the season and 1-0 in SAC play.
The Lady Eagles shot 43.8 percent (28-of-64) on the day, while Catawba scored at a 40.6 percent clip (28-of-69). C-N held a 40-39 edge on the boards.
Mendenhall fired in 19 points and added four rebounds, four steals and three assists to lead the Lady Eagles, while Courdne Miles (Burlington, N.C.) pitched in 17 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Candis Clear (Memphis, Tenn.) added 10 points in the loss.
Ivanovic paced Catawba with a double-double, scoring 20 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and recording five steals, while Dana Hicks also had a double-double with 21 points and 10 boards.
C-N held the largest lead by either team at 22-14 midway through the first half. Catawba rallied back and closed the half on a 9-2 run to go on top 37-36 at the break. The teams then played through six ties and eight lead changes in the second half before Ivanovic's game-winner.
The Lady Eagles return to action on Wednesday as they will host No. 2 Lander. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. at Holt Fieldhouse.