WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The Covenant women's basketball team capped the regular season with an 86-83 victory at Salem on Saturday afternoon in USA South action.
Covenant (12-12, 6-8 USA South) finished the regular season winning four of its last five games to finish fifth in the West Division of the USA South. The Scots will be the No. 5 seed from the West in the USA South Tournament, which begins next weekend. Covenant will play either Huntingdon or LaGrange in the first round of the tournament at Maryville, Tenn.
All five starters scored in double figures for Covenant as Kaley Hallmark scored a career-high 21 points to go along with five rebounds in the win, Covenant's second over Salem in the past four days. Alex Quimby scored13 points with three steals, Joanna Smith had 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Aleigha Williams added 11 points and Rachel Price pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds to go with 10 points for a double-double.
A high-scoring first quarter saw Salem build a seven-point lead before Covenant cut it to four at 27-23 at the end of the period. Covenant then outscored Salem 24-17 in the second to grab a 47-44 lead at the half. The Scots went on a 7-0 run at the end of the second as an Emma Grimes 3-pointer gave Covenant a 45-44 lead and two Quimby free throws capped the run to make it 47-44.
In the third, Covenant extended the lead to 55-46 after a Williams jumper with 6:42 left in the period. Moments later, Morgan Douglass drained a 3-pointer giving the Scots a 58-48 advantage. Salem chipped away at the lead as Covenant entered the fourth with a 62-57 edge.
Covenant would again build a double-digit lead before seeing it vanish later in the fourth. Salem took a 69-68 lead with 5:09 remaining on a Shenell Pharr jumper, but Hallmark answered back with a jumper of her own to give Covenant a 70-69 lead with five minutes left.
The two teams went back-and-forth for the next few minutes before a big 3-pointer from Hallmark gave Covenant an 80-75 lead with 2:10 left. In the final seconds, Salem trailed by three and the Spirits' Alexiahonna Bush was fouled on a 3-pointer, but could only make 2-of-3 at the line. Quimby would make two free throws on the next Covenant trip to seal the win.
Covenant shot 40.8 percent (29-of-71) from the field with nine 3-pointers and 17 assists. Salem shot 46.7 percent (28-of-60) and went 21-of-30 at the foul line.
Salem (7-17, 4-10 USA South) received 20 points apiece from MiKayla Seivers and Sabrina Shepherd. Hannah McBride had 15 points, while Bush had seven points and nine rebounds.
The opponent and time for Covenant's USA South Tournament first round game will be announced on Sunday.
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