CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Freshman forward Sherae Bonner tied the Western Carolina school record for rebounds in a game, with 26, recording her second straight double-double with 17 points as Catamount women's basketball defeated Livingstone College 66-55 Monday in the Ramsey Center.
The Catamounts improve to 1-1 on the season and the Blue Bears fall to 1-1. Bonner's domination on the glass, with 26 rebounds, ties a single-season Catamount women's basketball record that has stood since 1977. The record was initially set by former Catamount Brenda Johnson against Mars Hill on Jan. 18, 1977.
As stated above, it was Bonner's second straight double-double performance. She had 16 points and 13 rebounds in the 64-59 loss to North Carolina Central Nov. 14.
Bonner was one of three Catamounts to score in double figures. Senior guard Justin Taylor led the team with 18 points and just missed a double-double herself with eight rebounds. Fellow senior Ali Lane followed with 12 points.
It was slow going for Western Carolina to open the game against Livingstone. The Blue Bears scored nine unanswered points to open the game before the Catamounts got on the board. After being held scoreless for the first five plus minutes, Lane drained a three-pointer to cut the Livingstone lead to 6-3.
Western Carolina played from behind until the final three minutes of the half. Trailing by six with 3:48 left, freshman Emily Hatfield nailed a lay-up and drained a free throw to complete the three-point play. Hatfield's scoring spurred a 9-0 run by the Catamounts to take the lead 24-23 capped off by a pair of free throws by Lane. Bonner hit 1-of-2 free throws to make the score 25-23 in favor of Western Carolina at the half.
It was all Western Carolina in the second half as the Catamounts scored 41 second-half points. Livingstone scored 32. Sitting with five points and eight rebounds at the half, Bonner led WCU in the second half scoring 12 of her points and ripping down 18 of her rebounds in the final 20 minutes.
Bonner also accounted for half of the Catamount team's total rebounds as WCU ended the game with 52 boards. Western Carolina also dominated at the charity stripe. The Catamounts were sent to the free throw line 42 times and hit 27, shooting 64.3 percent. Livingstone wasn't so fortunate hitting just 9-of-17 from the free throw line.
Western Carolina plays the third of its four straight home games Saturday welcoming Presbyterian at 3:30 p.m.