SALEM -- Salem International women's coach Dave Crosier has admittedly wanted to fire the person who made his early season schedule.
Fortunately for him, he can't fire himself.
The Tigers (0-5) have played No. 3 Northern Kentucky once, No. 8 Bloomsburg twice and perennial PSAC power Millersville to open the season.
Tonight, SIU and Crosier look for their first win against District of Columbia at the T. Edward Davis Gymnasium. Game time is 7 p.m.
The Tigers held a 36-30 halftime lead in the teams' first meeting before struggling the second half. UDC went on to claim a 70-60 win.
"We've played a very tough schedule," Crosier said, "but when we were looking at it when we made the schedule, we thought we would have some help with older players."
Crosier has had to rely group of freshmen, led by Kristen Self, to help seniors Chrissy Luchuck and Lashonda Tucker.
Self leads the team in scoring, averaging 16 points, while Luchuck, who has been battling a knee injury, follows with 7.6 points.
"I expected to do well," Self said. "I knew I had to step it up in the beginning, but I expected to step up and be a leader."
Despite the slow start, Crosier believes his team will have an advantage with the early tough schedule.
"The fact that we have played a high level of competition will help us," Crosier said. "A couple of the teams we have played are up there with or above the West Libertys and Glenvilles in our conference.
"I think it's going to prepare us to play some of the teams in our conference that aren't expected to finish quite as high."
Assistant sports editor Danny Carpenter can be reached at 626-1444 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.