The Rolla girls basketball team (3-8) made the trip to Salem on Tuesday, Dec. 3 for their first game of 2017. Despite a great start in the first three quarters, the Lady Bulldogs couldn't finish off the game in a 59-50 loss.

Rolla's matchup with Salem got off to a great start in the first quarter, as both teams were able to match each other shot for shot. The Lady Bulldogs did some damage from behind the arc with three three-pointers, who of which game from Addy Brow. Outside of those threes, Rolla's offense came from the free throw line, going four of six from the charity stripe. Salem responded with very concentrated scoring. Payton Curley dropped 10 points in the opening quarter and another four from Kam Powell gave the Lady Tigers a 14-13 lead heading into the second. 

The shots kept falling for the Lady Bulldogs in the second, with five different players contributing to a 15 point quarter. On the defensive end, they locked things down, holding Salem to just eight points to take a 28-20 lead into the half. 

Salem closed that gap a bit in the third quarter, thanks to another good quarter from Curley. She added another seven points, scoring roughly half of Salem's points. The scoring was again spread out for Rolla, but the biggest difference in the third was a lack of free throw attempts. The Lady Bulldogs didn't shoot a single free throw in the third quarter after scoring four points at the line in the first and five in the second. Despite the lack of free throws, the Lady Bulldogs still led 38-35 going into the fourth quarter. 

The Lady Tigers exploded in the fourth quarter, led again by Curley. She scored 13 points in the fourth quarter and proved to be a thorn in Rolla's side all night long, scoring 35 points in the game. Rolla couldn't match Salem's scoring in the fourth, as Salem was able to jump out in front and walk away with a 59-50 win. Brow led the way for Rolla with 13 points, but a total of eight players scored for the Lady Bulldogs. While Curley caused a lot of problems for Rolla, they locked down the rest of Salem pretty well, as no other Lady Tiger scored more than six points. 

"I thought we played really well against a very good team," said head coach Luke Floyd. "Our shots stopped falling in the 4th quarter and that was the difference. I was very happy with how we competed for 32 minutes. This is definitely a great game to build on as we start the new year." 

The Lady Bulldogs will now have a few more days off with their next game coming on the road against Joplin on Monday, Jan. 9.

Box score:

Brow - 13 pts, 4 stls, 3 rebs, 1 ast; Rodgers - 9 pts, 6 rebs, 3 stls, 2 asts; Janke - 8 pts, 8 rebs, 1 stl; Dupes - 7 pts, 4 rebs, 1 ast; Dean - 6 pts, 3 rebs, 1 ast; Brown - 4 pts, 1 blk; Pritchett - 2 pts, 10 rebs, 2 stls, 1 ast; Cheesman - 1 pt, 1 reb, 1 stl