SLIPPERY ROCK, PA – The Salem Tigers squared off tonight in their eleventh game of the 2023-24 regular season against Slippery Rock University (0-4). The Tigers (2-8) looked to bounce after a tough one-point loss on their home court to the Senators from Davis & Elkins.
It was Slippery Rock who grabbed the first lead of the night with a layup in transition before the Tigers responded with a 7-0 run. Teodora Popovic was feeling it early as she drained two shots from distance to chip in for six of the Tiger’s sixteen first-quarter points. The Salem defense held strong all through the first, allowing just nine points and forcing three turnovers.
Slippery Rock made a run at Salem to start the second, outsourcing the Tigers 7-3 in the opening four minutes of play. Salem responded with a run of their own led by Anna Machytkova who continued to thrive after a great first quarter. Teodora Popovic made it three three-pointers on the night before the half and Salem went into the break up 32-22.
Both offenses caught fire in the third. Salem scored twenty-one points in the period and got contributions from seven different players. This team was clicking at their best point of the season and seemingly could do no wrong. Slippery Rock seemed to figure out the Tiger defense some at the half. They scored seventeen points in the third nearly matching Salem. Going into our final quarter of regulation the Tigers held on to their lead 53-39.
The powerful offensive output of the third had slowed to a near snail’s pace by the fourth. Both teams struggled to shoot a high percentage from the floor. As a result, the Tigers took the action to Slippery Rock, making it a point of emphasis to drive the basket and force the issue. Four of the Tiger’s five baskets in the fourth quarter came at the rim, including a tough and-one from Anete Bluma on a dish from Carine Pinkney. Salem’s consistency tonight was key for them as they held on to win 64-50 and advance to (3-8) on the season.
The Tiger’s next game comes Saturday, December 16th at 2:00 PM when they will host the Yellow Jackets of Cedarville University at T. Edward Davis Gymnasium in Salem, WV.