Winston-Salem, NC- The Salem Spirits opened up USA South Conference play by hosting the Fighting Squirrels of Mary Baldwin on Friday, November 30th. The Spirits started the game putting on an offensive clinic, shooting 68% from the field in the 1st Quarter, scoring 24 points and leading the game for most of the 1st half. Mary Baldwin was able to catch up late in the 2nd Quarter and took a one point lead going into to halftime, 39-40. The Fighting Squirrels had a scoring outburst in the 3rd Quarter, outscoring the Spirits 33-11, taking a commanding lead of 23 points going into the 4th Quarter. Salem was able to play even with Mary Baldwin in the final period, but fell in a final score of 71-94.
The Salem Spirits had two players score in double digits; Makalla Burnette with 24 and Tamara Blanton with 22. This was no match for the Flying Squirrels who had four players in double digits; led by freshman Guard Leah Calhoun who scored 37 points and brought down 13 boards for the evening. The team had their best shooting performance of the season, shooting 41.2% from the field and also combined for 17 assists as a team, led by Chaniece Moss (6).
Coach Mohney was very optimistic after the game stating, "With each game I am seeing more confidence in the players. Makalla Burnette is really stepping in to the playing role I knew she could as a first-year. To score 29 and 24 points in back to back games in impeccable and shows her leadership to the program. Mary Baldwin could not miss from behind the arc and that is where we need to work on stopping those wide open transition shots. It was also exciting to see Senior Tamara Blanton nail 5 field goals from behind the arc. We are going to keep pushing our transition offense and work are transition defense; we cannot just exert all of our energy on one side of the floor. "
The Spirits are in action tomorrow against Greensboro College. Game is on the Campus of Salem College, start time of 2:00 pm.