by Benny Benton
HICKORY, N.C. – Barton College led wire-to-wire in downing Catawba College, 58-49, on day two of the SAC/Conference Carolinas Challenge Saturday at Lenoir-Rhyne University's Shuford Gymnasium.
Junior Dinah Neal scored the game's first five points for the Lady Bulldogs (2-0) and Barton quickly raced out to a 13-4 advantage. Neal, who set a career-high with 23 points in Friday's victory over host Lenoir-Rhyne, added a game-high 21 to pace BC against Catawba (1-1).
The Barton lead reached double-digits at 27-17 on two Neal free throws one minute into the second quarter, and grew to as many as 15 points following another Neal free throw with 3:03 left before intermission.
Trailing by 11 early in the third quarter, the Indians used consecutive 3-pointers by Serena Brown to spark a 9-3 run, closing to within two points at 33-31 on a pair of free throws by Marshauna Butler. However, back-to-back layups by Taura Jones and Neal pushed the BC advantage back to six.
Catawba pulled within three one more time at 37-34 following another 3-pointer by Brown, but the Lady Bulldogs went on an 11-0 run to seal its second win in as many days.
The Indians were paced by 10 points from Talia Barnes.
Barton held Catawba to just 29 percent shooting from the field while making 40 percent. The Lady Bulldogs also held a slight edge in turnovers, committing 18 while forcing 19.
The Lady Bulldogs will make their 2017-18 home debut on Tuesday when they host another South Atlantic Conference school, Coker College, in a 5:30 p.m. matchup.