RALEIGH, N.C. -- Meredith College maintained their focus down the stretch in Wednesday night's basketball game to down the visiting Salem Spirits 64-56. Kimberly Schuh led the Avenging Angels cast with 20 points, 14 rebounds.
Meredith set the tone early with an eight point lead through the first three minutes of play. But the Spirits recovered with help from four three pointers to edge in front by one at the close of the first quarter.
The Avenging Angels defended against the long range jumper in the second stanza, allowing Salem to score just one. And Meredith held firm to their game plan to hold the lead heading into the break.
At 7:21 the Spirits regained control on a pair of free throws from Tamara Blanton. Schuh found Kirstie King inside three minutes later to edge back in front. Salem returned the ball to the Angels with an offensive foul, and King found Janah Hassell for two more to widen the gap. After a Meredith timeout, Hassell found King for a bucket, and Madison Gladwell extended the Angels lead back to four heading into the final frame.
With a much needed win on the line for both teams, the intensity continued to rise. Meredith enjoyed the benefit of nine Salem team fouls, scoring 8-of-10 free throws, while battling the boards for 11 rebounds. A near five-minute scoring drought from the visitors left the door open for MCBB to extend their lead to seven with four minutes remaining in regulation.
Schuh scored inside with 1:21 left in the game to push Meredith's lead to eight, but Blanton drained a three on the other end to keep the Spirits close. An unforced Meredith turnover followed by a foul gave Salem two chances that led to just one point, and Head Meredith Coach LaQuanda Quick used her final timeout to settle the Avenging Angels. Hassell and Caroline Coleman drained two free throws apiece to finish off the Spirits for good.
Kirstie King posted 14 points, four assists, and five rebounds, and Coleman finished with a dozen points. Gladwell grabbed six boards, six points with three assists, and Trinity Packer pulled in seven rebounds with three points. Hassell tallied four points, and Brittany Preston knocked down a three, adding two boards and a pair of assists. Katherine Holmes returned to the lineup tonight, contributing one basket on the night.
Blanton led the Spirits with 19 points, eight rebounds.
Meredith travels to Pfeiffer for a 2 p.m. match-up before returning to Weatherspoon next week for back-to-back home games.