Jones Leads Salem Over Bennett in Season Opener
November 16, 2007
Raleigh, NC- Salem College opened its 2007-2008 basketball season tonight as they traveled to Raleigh to play in the Jackie Ammons Memorial Tournament. Salem was matched up against Bennett College in the first game, while Peace College hosted Simmons College in the nightcap.
Salem College started slow against Bennett College, trailing at halftime by the score of 25-19. Salem shot 21.8% in the first half and made only 2 of 12 attempted 3-pointers. Bennett College’s nine unanswered points in a three minute extended their lead 20-13 with less than five minutes to go in the first half. The height and size of Bennett’s players helped them out rebound Salem College 20-16, eliminating any chance of second shots.
Salem College started the second half with a fury as the Spirits stormed back to take the lead 31-29 on a 3-pointer by Kelsey Rector (FY, Elkin, NC) with 14:25 left in the second half. The lead exchanged hands three times in the next six minutes as the pace picked up. Bennett battled to take a six point lead with 5:14 to go. Casey Jones (So, Winston-Salem, NC) then scored 8 of the next 10 Salem points in less than 4 minutes to help the Spirits take the lead 46-44 with 53.6 seconds to go. Rector hit 1 of 2 free throws with 21 seconds to go to extend the lead to 47-44. Alex Ervin (So, Morganton, NC) secured the win by stealing the ball with 5 seconds to go and making 1 of 2 free throws after being fouled intentionally.
Courtney Sauer (FY, Carthage, NC) played great tonight as she came up with loose balls and rebounds at the most crucial time of the game. With one minute to go, Sauer dove for a loose ball and called time out. Sauer then secured a rebound with 15 seconds to go. That’s a good night’s work for someone who just ended soccer season and has had only one day of basketball practice.
Michala Michaux (So, Morganton, NC) led Salem College with ten rebounds despite being the smallest player on the team at 5’4”. Her speed and scrappiness kept the Bennett Belles on their heels.
Casey Jones had a stellar night as she finished with 18 points (17 in the second half), 9 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 assists and 2 blocks. Alex Ervin had 13 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.
Salem College (1-0) will play Peace College in the championship game at 3 pm Saturday. Peace College defeated Simmons College 77-48 in the second game.