Written by Sean Dahlin
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.—The Southern Virginia University women's basketball team suffered its second straight loss on Saturday 59-51 at NCAA Division III Salem College despite holding a two-point halftime lead.
"We played a good game today but couldn't pull it out in the end," said fourteen-year Head Coach Michael Harmon. "Salem did enough to win but I'm proud of how we continued to battle until the end."
Senior Mina Romito (Walker, La.) led Southern Virginia with a team-high 17 points—leading the Knights in scoring for the third time this season—including 3-for-6 from beyond the arc while freshman center Crystal Cleveland (Declan, N.J.) earned her second double-double of the year with 11 points and 10 rebounds in the loss on Saturday.
Saturday's meeting between Southern Virginia (2-2) and Salem (4-1) remained a close battle with the Knights making 47.6-percent of their shot attempts to take a 30-28 lead at the break.
In the second half, however, The Spirits extended their three-point lead to 11 (49-38) following an 8-0 run with 10:12 left in regulation, outscoring the visitors 31-21 in the game's remaining 20 minutes to seal the victory.
Senior captain Amaris Newkirk (Folsom, N.M.) marked the third Southern Virginia member to reach double figures with 10 points including netting 6-of-8 free throws while adding seven rebounds and two steals.
Junior Satavia Taylor led Salem with a game-high 19 points.
Southern Virginia held a 37-26 rebounding advantage and outshot its opponent 38.1-percent to 35.5-percent from the field; however, the Knights committed a season-high 31 turnovers compared to Salem's 20.
Women's basketball will take two days off until traveling to face USA South-affiliate Mary Baldwin College and ODAC-member Emory and Henry College on consecutive nights—Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 5 and 6 p.m. respectively.