In a battle of two teams 1-0 in conference play, the Covenant women's basketball team had a sluggish second half as the host Salem Spirits came away with a 66-45 win on Saturday afternoon in North Carolina.
Alexis Storteboom registered her third double-double of the season, and second in the past week, with 11 points and 15 rebounds for the Lady Scots. Jessie Blankenship added 12 points and five rebounds in the defeat.
Covenant came into the contest tied atop the GSAC standings with Salem and Agnes Scott at 1-0, but could not overcome the host Spirits.
The Lady Scots stand at 6-5 for the season and 1-1 in league play. Salem improves to 8-5 overall and 2-0 in the GSAC.
Reigning GSAC player of the week, Satavia Taylor led Salem with 21 points on 9-of-21 shooting and also contributed three blocks and three steals. Jasmine Shabazz recorded a double-double of 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Salem jumped out to a 12-5 lead on the Lady Scots with 14:41 left in the first half. Covenant would respond and eventually take a three-point lead at 23-20, its largest of the game, on a Blankenship jumper that capped a quick 6-0 scoring run with 2:46 left before halftime.
The Spirits scored the final seven points of the half to go ahead 27-23 at halftime.
In the second half, Covenant could not keep pace with Salem. After a pair of Kiaira Cooper free-throws cut Salem's lead to 35-33 with 15:37 remaining, the Lady Scots would not score again for almost eight minutes as the Spirits raced out to a 55-33 advantage.
Ruth Gibson had a team-high three assists for Covenant while scoring four points. Cooper chipped in nine points of her own. The Lady Scots limited Salem to 32.9 percent (23-70) shooting, but 30 turnovers turned into 29 points for the Spirits. Covenant connected on 34.9 percent (17-49) from the field.
Covenant will look to get back to its winning ways next Saturday (January 19) at home against GSAC rival Huntingdon College. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. inside Barnes Physical Education Center. Covenant's January 16 game at Hiwassee has been canceled.