Lady ‘Cats can’t hold late lead, drops 89-82 contest to Salem

Nicole Gilyard (15) of the West Virginia Wesleyan Lady Bobcats drives past Salem’s Reeva Jackson (30) into the lane during the second half of their non-conference contest Tuesday night at Rockefeller Center. Gilyard scored 10 points in the Lady ‘Cats 89-82 setback.

BUCKHANNON – The West Virginia Wesleyan Lady Bobcats scored a regular-season high 82 points against the Salem Lady Tigers here Tuesday night in a non-conference game in Rockefeller Center, but the Lady ‘Cats still fell by an 89-82 score.

The Lady Bobcats scored 107 against Urbana a week ago but that game went into double overtime and they had just 76 points at the end of regulation.

A lay-up by Alexa Szelong gave Wesleyan a 10-7 lead in the first quarter with four minutes remaining, but Salem took over the rest of the quarter outscoring the Lady Bobcats by a 14-6 margin for a 21-16 lead after the first 10 minutes of action.

Salem built a 12-point lead, at 35-23, with 2:10 left in the half.

Wesleyan’s Carri Barnett scored on a fast break lay-up, Mykenzie Martin popped in a jumper, Barnett tallied another lay-up and added two free throws as the Lady Bobcats closed the deficit to four, at 35-31 with 1:18 remaining in the opening half.

Wesleyan still trailed by four at the half, at 37-33.

Wesleyan trimmed the Salem advantage down to one, at 40-39 on a jumper by Abi Gabauer and finally retook the lead at 45-44 on a Szelong free throw at the 5:59 mark.

Szelong tacked on three more free throws over the next minute as Wesleyan extended their lead to 48-44 with 4:57 left in the third quarter.

A Nicole Gilyard jumper kept Wesleyan ahead, at 55-53 with two minutes remaining in the period but Salem ended the quarter on an 8-2 run to take a 61-57 lead into the final quarter.

With two minutes gone in the fourth, Wesleyan still by four, at 65-61, but Szelong turned in an old-fashioned three-point play and went to the line and made four straight to give Wesleyan a 68-65 lead with 6:56 remaining in the game.

A Barnett 3-pointer kept Wesleyan ahead by a 73-71 score with 5:14 left but it was the last lead the Lady Bobcats would hold.

Salem went on a 12-4 run over the two minutes to build an 84-74 lead with three minutes left.

Wesleyan couldn’t get any closer than seven points the rest of the way.

Szelong scored a game-high 24 points while Gabauer and Barnett both came off the bench to score 17 and 15 respectively.

Aaliyah Holmes scored 19 to lead Salem while Nia Bishop scored 16.

Salem improved to 3-12 on the season.

Wesleyan dropped to 3-8 overall.

Wesleyan was scheduled to play Charleston Thursday.

The Lady Bobcats will return to action Saturday when they host West Virginia State at 2 p.m.

The boxscore:

Salem                               21  16  24  28 – 89

West Virginia Wesleyan  16  17  24  25 – 82

Salem 89

Aaliyah Holmes 6-12 3-3 19, Nia Bishop 4-11 8-10 16, Aitana Nuevo Garcia 3-6 3-4 9, Makayla Pickens 3-7 2-4 8, Imari Bowers 0-1 2-5 2, Danila Villalobos 4-14 1-2 10, Kayla Hall 3-6 2-4 10, Nerea Fernandez 3-5 0-0 6, Tamia Tart 2-3 2-2 6, Precious Price 1-16 1-2 3, Reeva Jackson 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 29-83 21-32 89

West Virginia Wesleyan 82

Alexa Szelong 5-10 14-15 24, Nicole Gilyard 4-8 2-4 10, Amira Layeni 1-4 0-1 2, Tyra Hughes 0-7 0-0 0, Corin Todd 0-0 0-0 0, Abi Gabauer 7-11 3-4 17, Carrie Barnett 4-6 6-8 15, Mykenzie Martin 2-5 0-1 5, Brittany Stawovy 2-2 0-0 4, Summer Matlack 1-3 0-0 3, A. Karaivanova 1-4 0-0 2, Malalika Kimmons 0-2 0-0 0, Cydney Lapczynski 0-3 0-0 0.

Three-point field goals – Salem: Holmes 4-9, Garcia 3-4, Hall 2-4, Villalobos 1-6, Bishop 0-1, Pickens 0-1, Price 0-6. Totals 10-31; West Virginia Wesleyan: Barnett 1-1, Martin 1-2, Matlack 1-2, Szelong 0-1, Kimmons 0-1, Lapczynski 0-1, Hughes 0-5. Totals 3-13.

Rebounds – Salem: Hall 7, Pickens 6, Garcia 5, Villalobos 5, Jackson 5, Bishop 3, Bowers 3, Holmes 2, Tart 2, Fernandez 1, Price 1, team 9. Totals 49; West Virginia Wesleyan: Szelong 7, Gilyard 5, Karaivanova 5, Hughes 4, Barnett 4, Matlack 3, Martin 2, Gabauer 1, team 13. Totals 44.

Assists – Salem: Bishop 5, Holmes 1, Garcia 1, Pickens 1, Villalobos 1, Fernandez 1, Tart 1, Price 1. Totals 12; West Virginia Wesleyan: Hughes 6, Szelong 2, Todd 2, Barnett 2, Gilyard 1, Martin 1, Stawovy 1, Matlack 1. Totals 16.

Steals – Salem: Bishop 3, Tart 2, Holmes 1, Garcia 1, Pickens 1, Fernandez 1. Totals 9; West Virginia Wesleyan: Gilyard 2, Corin 2, Hughes 1. Totals 5.

Blocked shots – Salem: Tart 1, Jackson 1. Totals 2; West Virginia Wesleyan: Karaivanova 1. Totalas 1.

Personal fouls – Salem: 23; West Virginia Wesleyan: 20.

Turnovers – Salem: 12; West Virginia Wesleyan: 19.

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