MBB: Sea Gulls’ escape comeback with win over Mary Washington

BY RICKY POLLITT

Sports Editor

@rickypollitt52

After a heartbreaking comeback loss to CNU Wednesday night, Salisbury’s men’s basketball team nearly had a repeat game by letting up a 13 point lead at halftime to conference rival Mary Washington.

With 11 three-pointers, seven steals and a half-court buzzer beater, luck was on Salisbury’s side as they defeated the Eagles 76-68 Saturday night at Maggs Gym.

It was a tale of two halves with the Sea Gulls (16-5, 9-5 CAC) dominating the Eagles (11-10, 7-7 CAC) on both sides of the ball in the first half.

Senior guard Adrien Straughn hit a half-court shot as time expired to give the Sea Gulls a 13-point lead and all the momentum going into halftime.

“We practice that shot in warmups, and it came in handy today,” Straughn said.

However, the second half was a different story for the No. 2 seeded Sea Gulls.

Mary Washington went on a 12-2 run to start the half with Eagles’ guard T.J. Jones and forward Eric Shaw leading the way.

Having lost two of the last three games after having strong first half showings, the Gulls called on Straughn and junior forward Gordon Jeter to get Salisbury back on the winning side.

“I just had to get my team going,” Jeter said. “It’s like I tell my guys all the time: be yourself and let the little things win the basketball game.”

Jeter recorded his third double-double of the year with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Straughn (17) and guard Rocky Harris (11) were the only other players to score in double digits for SU.

“I just found open spots, tried to get free runs to the rim and just try to not have anybody pay attention to what I was doing,” Jeter said. “Boxing out, getting into position and playing my game did it.”

 

The Eagles were able to erase SU’s lead and tied the game at 50 with under 10 minutes left in the game.

The lead switched back and forth, until Harris made a three-point jump shot in the corner to give Salisbury a comfortable edge with under two minutes left in the match.

After three Mary Washington turnovers, SU was able to relax, hold on to the ball and ensure the victory.

“We need to take it a game at a time, and if we can get to the championship game, we want to ensure that we can make it into the NCAA tournament,” Sea Gulls’ head coach Andy Sachs said.

The victory gives Salisbury some breathing room in the conference standings. Now with a two game lead over No. 3 Penn. State-Harrisburg, the Gulls can win out and clinch a first round bye in the CAC tournament.

“We’ve got to keep getting these wins and finish out strong,” Straughn said. “At the end of the day it’s on us.”

Women’s basketball loses fourth straight, remains in playoff spot

BY JACOB TROXELL

Editor-in-Chief

One day at a time.

That was the message from Salisbury University Women’s Basketball Head Coach Kelly Lewandowski after the Sea Gulls dropped their fourth in a row to Mary Washington University 79-53 in Maggs Gym Saturday afternoon.

After holding Mary Washington (18-3, 12-2) to one made field goal in their first eight shots and 14 points in the first quarter, the Sea Gulls (10-11, 6-8) held a one-point lead. But they never got it back after a 27-point second quarter from Mary Washington, led by forward Sarah Listenbee who finished with 20 points on 8/10 shooting.

Mary Washington controlled the paint on both ends of the floor throughout the game, scoring 40 compared to SU’s 14, and held the Seagulls leading scorer, forward Julia McLaughlin to just 10 points on 4-11 shooting. McLaughlin was also held to just four rebounds despite being one of the conference leaders in rpg.

The Sea Gulls also got out scored on fast breaks, bench points, second chance points and points off turnovers.

Forward Kaylyn French, who has earned herself a starting spot in the Sea Gulls’ last two contests, kept them in the game, scoring eight points in the first half. But SU couldn’t hang in after an even bigger, 32-point third quarter from Mary Washington that put the game out of reach.

The second half belonged to center Brianne Comden, who scored 12 of her game-high 21 for Mary Washington.

Despite now being 6-8 in the top-heavy Capital Athletic Conference, the Seagulls find themselves one game ahead of Penn State-Harrisburg and St. Mary’s (Md.), who are fighting for the sixth and final playoff seed in the conference.

“There’s little positives throughout the game and we gotta just start expanding on those positives at different times,” Lewandowski said. “We’re so young we really gotta focus on the process and how we grow every day.”

One positive from today’s game came from guard Mary McDonagh, who boasted a game-high eight assists, which also tied her season high.

The Seagulls will face Wesley at home Wednesday night in Maggs Gym before going on the road to face Southern Virginia and Marymount (Va.).

But after the game, French reiterated that they aren’t looking too far ahead.

“We don’t dwell on it,” French said. “We go in and we say ‘on to the next one’.”

Men’s Basketball loses third overtime game of the season against Christopher Newport

BY RICKY POLLITT

Sports Editor

@rickypollitt52

It’s becoming a frustrating occurrence for the Salisbury men’s basketball team who lost their third overtime game of the season to rival Christopher Newport Wednesday night at Maggs.

Leading at halftime, and deep into the second half, the Sea Gulls (15-5, 8-5 CAC) allowed the Captains (19-1, 13-0 CAC) to battle back and win 61-59 in a rematch of last season’s CAC Championship game.

Both teams entered with several weapons on offense, but it was the defenses that stole the spotlight. Salisbury recorded 41 rebounds, six steals and forced 13 turnovers, while CNU caused 17 turnovers and allowed only one Sea Gull to score in double-digits.

“It hurts, especially being up in the second half,” Sea Gulls head coach Andy Sachs said. “We just didn’t close it out.”

Christopher Newport, who was ranked sixth in national rankings, returned to Maggs for the first time since losing in the CAC Championship last season. After losing due to last second free throws in 2015, they were not about to let it happen again.

Junior forward Tim Daly, who scored 21 points and pulled down six rebounds went to the foul line with a chance to tie the game with one second remaining in regulation, eerily similar to the 2015 CAC Championship Game, when Salisbury beat CNU on a last second free throw in Maggs.

Even with a packed gymnasium, screaming to throw off Daly’s focus, the sophomore was able to hit both his foul shots and send the game to overtime.

After a 12-point overtime period, including a huge three-pointer from CNU junior guard Kevin Regimbal, the Captains were able to get revenge on the Gulls.

“That’s a pretty good offensive team,” Sachs said. “There’s three big stats you got to win, and that’s rebounding, turnovers and free throws. We won two of them, but 17 turnovers will kill you.”

One bright spot for the Gulls was the play from junior forward Gordon Jeter. The only Sea Gull to make it to double-digits, Jeter put up 25 points, seven rebounds and two steals.

“I told all my guys, play who you want to play and just take care of business,” Jeter said. “It was basically the same situation (as the CAC Championship game) just the other way around.”

The win gave CNU the regular season conference title, and keeps Salisbury at the No. 2 spot in the CAC.

Despite five conference losses, Sachs is confident his team has what it takes to finish the season strong, and get a chance to face CNU once again for the CAC title.

“This group plays hard, but we’ll be tested,” Sachs said. “Our players are good kids, they represent the school well, and we’ll move on from this.”

Women’s basketball comes up short against CNU

BY CHARLES MILLER

Staff Writer

At the conclusion of the game between Salisbury and Christopher Newport it came down to one possession, but Salisbury was unable to pull off the comeback, falling to CNU 55-52 Wednesday night.

SU (10-10, 6-7) turned the basketball over 34 times compared to Christopher Newport’s ( 18-2, 11-2) 18. Sea Gulls head coach Kelly Lewandowski knows whenever a team turns the ball over as much as they did, it’s tough to comeback.

“Taking care of the ball really (is important, and) just valuing possession since it came down to one at the end (is what matters),” Lewandowski said.

The number of turnovers in the game translated to a hard fought team effort on both sides of the basketball with both teams playing well-rounded defense.

“We did a lot of good things defensively,” Lewandowski said. “I think we have to take a little bit better care of the ball offensively.”

Defensively the Sea Gulls forced CNU to shoot zero-of-ten from beyond the arc. Coupled with posting 21 points off the bench.

The Seagulls were able to score 26 points in the paint and six points off of fast breaks. SU relied on the play from junior guard Lauren Rothfeld with 14 points and six rebounds and senior forward Julia McLaughlin who had 10 points and eight blocks.

“I think if we look at the box score it was pretty much even all across,” Rothfeld said.

However, SU held the advantage shooting-wise. The Captains recorded 27.3 percent from the floor while Salisbury shot 42.9 percent, although CNU ended with a higher free throw percentage which ended up being the difference in the end.

The Sea Gulls held CNU to nine points in the fourth quarter, but ended up having to foul players just to get the ball back. Despite the last-ditch effort, SU came up just three points short.

With five games remaining before the start of the playoffs, SU will look to rebound from the loss against Mary Washington on Saturday. Only fifth in the CAC standings, the Gulls are fighting to claim a spot in the tournament after winning the CAC Championship just last season.

 

Youthful leader emerges for Salisbury men’s basketball

BY JAMIR WILSON
Staff Writer

Everyone in the conference has their eye on the Salisbury men’s basketball team every time they step onto the court. This season, as the defending Capital Athletic Conference champions, it makes it vitally important for players to rise to the occasion and raise their level of play.
Justin Witmer has stepped up to the plate and is leading the Gulls by example.
“The big thing was trying to not be complacent. We know we have a target on our back after winning a championship, so everyone is going to give us their best shot,” Witmer said.
An all-CAC First Team performer in 2014-2015, his love for basketball started very early.
“My dad was my sister’s AAU coach, so I would always go to the practices and would be on the side shooting and wouldn’t stop for the whole two hours,” he said.
Witmer is no stranger to success in his basketball career. At Magruder High School he reached the state championship his final two seasons, winning the title his junior year and losing a close one in his senior season.
He has been an exceptional free throw shooter, making it surprising when he only shot 65 percent from the line as a freshmen.
“Back in high school I still hold the record for consecutive free throws made at Magruder, so that was a big accomplishment for me,” Witmer said. “Probably a lack of focus, I didn’t really stay after and shoot like I usually did at high school, but recently I’ve been getting after it.”
Two of Witmer’s teammates, Gordon Jeter and Kyle Savercool believe Witmer is a unique player and person when it comes to practice, games and celebrations.
“Last year we liked to celebrate our wins and we would wait for the coach to get in the locker room and we’d pretend like we weren’t hype, and Justin would be hiding somewhere and he would pop out and go nuts and the whole team would get hype,” Savercool said. “We were at a tournament it was Randolph Macon, and he hid inside of a couch so coach gets in and we were all looking around like when is he going to pop out, and all of a sudden you just see him burst out, the cushions flying everywhere and he just gets hype. It’s contagious the whole team feeds off of it.”
It’s moments like that which shows the type of energy and spark Witmer brings to the team on and off the court.
The six-foot-three guard from Gaithersburg, Maryland has developed into a leader that his teammates and coaches can depend on. Head coach Andrew Sachs, who has only known Witmer for a short few months knows he can call on him when bringing the team together.
“I think he does a great job in the locker room keeping the guys together. We’ve had three loses this year, and these guys have responded from all three very well which tells me a lot about their character and I think a lot of that comes from him,” Sachs said.
Savercool, a senior who has played with Witmer the past three years has seen the growth and leadership Witmer has displayed.
“I would say he leads more by example, he shows us every day what needs to be done and we follow his lead,” Savercool said.
Sachs has been impressed not only with Witmer’s play this season, but also his character explaining that when times are tough, Witmer is always around to boost his teammate’s spirits.
“If I get on a guy or a guy is having a bad day he’ll pull him off and try to help them out and talk to him in the locker room,” Sachs said.
The Sea Gulls have won six out of their last seven games and are currently second in the conference standings looking to piece together another championship run. Witmer and his teammates believe the sky is the limit for their team and there are no plans of slowing down or settling for anything less than greatness.
“I think (we aim for) nothing less than getting back to the NCAA tournament, and getting further than we did last year,” Witmer said.
What has surprised many is Witmer’s path to the collegiate level. He graduated high school at sixteen-years-old, and as a nineteen-year-old junior, many think Witmer is wise beyond his years.
“Well, in kindergarten, halfway through they pushed me up to the first grade, so I was the second kid in my elementary school to ever do that. Growing up with older guys my whole life really just kind of mentally put me at their state like I don’t even think of myself as young compared to them,” Witmer said.
Despite Witmer’s college career coming to an end at the completion of the 2017 season, Sachs still expects his junior guard to improve every game and every season.
“You want guys to get better every year, we have to get him better with doing more things than just shooting the ball, he does a great job of getting to the rim, he’s gotten deflections for us, his rebounding has improved from last season, so we’ve asked the guys to do a lot more than they usually do,” Sachs said.
With another conference championship ring in their plans, Witmer continues to play a key role in making that goal a reality.

Men’s lacrosse looks to end national championship drought

BY RICKY POLLITT
Sports Editor
@rickypollitt52

No matter what the sport, no matter what the level, the phrase “defense wins championships” is a common line known among athletes.
For several years it is what the Salisbury men’s lacrosse team relied on to get them to the national championship game and ultimately win them the title.
Behind a shutdown group of defenders and a long list of talented goalies, the defense has been a major reason for Salisbury’s success the last several years.
However, for the first time, the Gulls will rely on their offense to carry the defense. After losing one of the best defenders in the nation in Knute Kraus, and replacing one of the most successful goalies in Connor Anderson, Salisbury is left in a rare spot to see if the offense can take the team to the promise land.
“This is the first year the offense probably has an edge over the defense,” senior midfielder Preston Dabbs said. “I look at some of the other guys and say ‘wow’ this is something I’ve never seen while I was here.”
Although Salisbury has been known for its defense, many strong offensive players have worn the maroon and gold and scored a large volume of goals for the Gulls.
Salisbury is returning a number of attackmen who have had much success playing under head coach Jim Berkman. Despite the loss of Mike Kane, who graduated last spring, the Gulls will rely on players like Thomas Cirillo and Carson Kalama who led the team in scoring last year combining for 98 goals.
“That first line (of offense) is looking amazing, and the second line is really, really fast,” Berkman said. “(Cirillo) is in the best shape of his life. He’s been a great leader, and we’re excited to see what he does his senior year.”
Along with Kalama and Cirillo, Salisbury returns several other offensive threats that helped the Gulls average 14 goals a game in 2015.
James Burton and Nathan Blondino combined for 52 goals and 35 assists while Dabbs and fellow midfielder Andrew Ternahan helped out on both sides of the ball, causing 42 turnovers and scooping up 100 ground balls between the two of them.
Salisbury also gets a new, but familiar face back in the lineup. Attackman Brady Dashiell sat out the 2015 season, but returns hoping to pick up where he left off in 2014.
Despite the inexperience on the defensive side, Ternahan, Dabbs and senior midfielder Davis Anderson, who was named a team captain, believe they can help the defense get back to the level it once was.
“We’ve had guys step up, and it’s good to see if a guy does go down someone else steps up,” Dabbs said. “A lot of young guys are working hard, so we’ll just have to see how it works outs.”
Perhaps the biggest question mark for the Sea Gulls will be in the cage. Before last season, Salisbury relied on Alex Taylor who shut down opposing offenses and had a goals against average of 6.74.
In 2015, it took Salisbury a few games to find their true goalie, but after three games, Anderson stepped up and ended with a 4.9 GAA; the best in Division III.
Anderson has since graduated, making Berkman and his team wonder once again who is going to be their next goalie.
At the end of fall ball, Berkman went with Colin Reymann, a junior who recorded almost 80 minutes in goal last season. Reymann recorded 10 saves and had a GAA of 8.41 in 2015.
Unfortunately for Salisbury, Reymann broke his hand in practice, leaving a bigger question mark at the goalie position.
“We have a little bit of a goalie issue right now, so if we had a game tomorrow, Anthony Stavrakis would start,” Berkman said.
Stavrakis came into 2015 as what many fans believed to be the next Alex Taylor. Overshadowed by Anderson, Stavrakis only saw 50 minutes in the goal and struggled early on in the season.
However, both Berkman and the team have seen improvements from both Reymann and Stavrakis and believe whoever does end up starting will have the tools and experience needed to stop opposing offenses from scoring.
“I think right now it’s just a lot of getting adjusted, but I’ve said it from the beginning, I’m going to support whoever’s playing the best and guys have stepped up,” Dabbs said. “Anthony is playing out of his mind.”
Lacrosse Magazine ranked Salisbury as the fourth best team at the beginning of the preseason. The Gulls will have a chance to prove early on if they are worthy of the high ranking as they face some of the top teams in DIII their first few weeks.
Salisbury opens their season against Hampton-Sydney, but will return home on Feb. 13 to face Lynchburg; the team that defeated them in the NCAA tournament last season. Lynchburg was ranked No. 2 by Lacrosse Magazine.
“We play the top teams in the nation in the first five weeks, but it is what it is,” Berkman said. “To help increase our chances for success we just have to work hard every day.”   The match against Lynchburg will mark the first home game inside the newly built Sea Gull Stadium, and it is a game the team wants to win not only for themselves, but for their fans also.
“It’s definitely going to be special. I’m at a loss for words where I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like, but I’m looking forward to it,” Dabbs said.
Salisbury hasn’t won a National Championship since 2012, but with the offense they have and the players on defense stepping up, every player and coach on the team expects to be holding up the trophy come the end of May.
“We’re ready to get back there and win it,” Berkman said.

Defensive showdown proves to be too much for women’s basketball

BY RICKY POLLITT

Sports Editor

@rickypollitt52

It took five quarters, but when the smoke cleared, the Salisbury women’s basketball team fell short of taking down the top-seeded Marymount Saints Wednesday night at Maggs.

Ranked in the upper half of defenses in the Capital Athletic Conference, the Sea Gulls (9-7, 5-4 CAC) were unable to hold their half time lead and lost 48-45 in a heartbreaking overtime game to the Saints (13-3, 8-1 CAC).

Despite both teams having some of the top shooters in the conference, neither team was able to score more than 12 points in any quarter. Marymount’s defense held Salisbury to three total points in the third.

“It went back and forth, and it could have gone either way. It was just a hard fought battle between two tough teams,” Sea Gulls’ head coach Kelly Lewandowski said.

Both teams came into the game with the plan of shutting down the opposing top scorers. For Salisbury it was taking out Marymount forward Nicole Viscuso, for the Saints, it was shutting down Sea Gulls’ forward Julia McLaughlin.

Viscuso and McLaughlin still were able to post decent numbers throughout the match, but it was Salisbury’s lack of shooting the long ball that cost them in the end.

The Sea Gulls came into the game shooting 38-percent from beyond the arc. However, Marymount’s defense applied too much pressure not allowing Salisbury to put one three-pointer on the board, finishing 0-8 on the day.

“I don’t it was anything they were doing, we just have to stay disciplined to what we know,” junior guard Lauren Rothfeld said. “We just have to stick to Salisbury basketball, but I think we’ll get there.”

Salisbury held a 22-18 lead at halftime, but much like other losses the Gulls have gone through this season, they were unable to finish in the second half.

After getting outscored 19-15 in the second half, a jumper from McLaughlin forced overtime. However, Salisbury’s lack of forcing turnovers and foul troubles allowed Marymount to score 11 in the extra period and ultimately capture the win.

“It’s our second overtime loss, and I think we’re all getting tired of it, so hopefully next time we’ll end at the end of regulation,” McLaughlin said.

The Sea Gulls were able to excel in other categories despite the loss. Salisbury outrebounded Marymount, had more second chance points and scored more points off of turnovers.

“The girls scouted them pretty well and were very disciplined. They did, generally, a good job playing them how our game plan was set up,” Lewandowski said.

The loss keeps Salisbury at the fifth spot in the CAC, but they will have time to climb the latter with Saturday’s game against Penn. State-Harrisburg marking the second half of conference play.

“We learn what we’re going to do next time. Saturday’s the start of the second half of the conference (play), so we just have to win all those and we’re good,” McLaughlin said.

 

 

Jeter’s 21 propels SUMBB to fifth straight victory

In the first half they were as cold as the snow falling outside. The second half was a whole different ballgame.

The Salisbury University men’s basketball team only scored 22 points in the first half against Marymount University (Va.) Wednesday night, but a 50 point second half gave them a 72-65 win, their fourth at home this season.

Marymount (6-10, 5-4 CAC) controlled the pace of the first half, limiting Salisbury (13-3, 6-3 CAC) to just eight field goals on 30 shot attempts.

“We had no energy in the first half,” Sea Gulls’ head coach Andy Sachs said. “If we came out with energy in the first half it’s not a close game, but give them credit they came to play.”

We did a good job of turning them over 19 turnovers is pretty good, that’s what we do.”

The Sea Gulls are first in defense (58.8) and turnovers forced (18.7) in the Capital Athletic Conference, and junior guard Justin Witmer said defensive stops in the second half was the catalyst to their comeback.

“We just turned up the defense, we forced some turnovers, got some easy layups and it got our offense going.”

Witmer, who is in the top five in three-point percentage in the conference, hit three more from beyond the arc Wednesday night, chipping in 13 points.

“It helps our big guys,” Witmer said about the Sea Gulls’ three point shooting. “We have dominant post guys, they open the floor up and get us good kick-out threes.”

One of Salisbury’s big guys, Gordon Jeter, who leads the team in PPG (13.9) scored a game-high 21 points, 18 of which came in the second half.

“I needed to put together a better defensive effort, my defense always pushes my offense,” Jeter said. “You can get out in transition, that’s definitely the biggest thing (for us) is converting on their turnovers.”

Salisbury seemed to have no answer on defense for the variety of scorers Marymount was throwing at them in the first half, as guards Rick Narcisse, D’Ondre Stockman and Danny Ferry all had seven or more points before halftime. As a team, Marymount shot 55 percent from the floor in the first half, and 53.8 for the game, but as Sachs reviewed the stat sheet after the game, one stat in particular stood out to him.

“We had 17 more shots than they did. 17. You’re going to win a lot of games when you do that,” Sachs said. “The more possessions you have the better your chance is to score.”

 

Marymount ended up with four players in double-digit points, including Stockman who claimed a team-high 19, but the Sea Gulls forced 19 turnovers, including four steals from Justin May, who stole two inbound passes in a row late in the second half with just under 10 minutes to go, which helped increase the Sea Gulls’ lead from one point to five.

After Stockman made two free-throws, Marymount took a brief 56-55 lead with six minutes left in the game, but the Sea Gulls responded with a 9-4 run capped off by a Gordon Jeter layup and never looked back.

Their fifth straight win gives the Sea Gulls both the second spot in the CAC standings behind Christopher Newport University (15-1, 9-0) and momentum heading into a three-game road stretch.

“Rebounds, turnovers and free-throws, those are the big stats,” Sachs said. “When you win two-out-of-three you win 80 percent of your games, and when you win all three you never lose.”

The game also capped off the first half of CAC play for the Sea Gulls and Saints. The Sea Gulls could have to play three road games in a week if snow prevents them from playing at Penn St-Harrisburg on Saturday.

“We have a lot ahead of us,” Sachs said. “Home losses kill you, the Harrisburg and St. Mary’s loss they hurt and now we have to avenge those on the road.”

 

 

MBB: Sea Gulls win fourth straight in win over Southern Virginia

BY RICKY POLLITT

Sports Editor

@rickypollitt52

Behind Salisbury’s tough defense, the men’s basketball team defeated Southern Virginia 67-52 Saturday night to record its fourth straight victory.

Led by seniors Jacoy Gillum and Adrien Straughn, the Sea Gulls (12-3, 5-3 CAC) forced 17 turnovers, nine steals and rebounded 36 shots. It was the eighth time this season Salisbury held an opponent under 60 points.

Southern Virginia (5-10, 4-4 CAC) entered the game with four players averaging double digit in points a game, but the amount of weapons for the Knights was no match for Salisbury’s high flying defense.

“Defensively we were awesome,” Sea Gulls’ head coach Andy Sachs said. “We haven’t outrebounded a lot of teams so it was good to see us do that, but we have a long way to go and still need to get better.”

Southern Virginia guard Kevin Walker unloaded 16 first half points against Salisbury in the match, however the Gulls made the necessary halftime adjustments and held Walker to only two points in the second half.

Offensively Salisbury relied on their top-scorer, junior forward Gordon Jeter who tallied 14 points and three assists. Straughn, senior forward Kyle Savercool and junior guard Justin Witmer, all finished in double digit scoring as well.

“We just want to be that team to beat,” Jeter said. “We want to give that top competition and let (other teams) know we’re here.”

Unlike other senior on Salisbury’s squad, Gillum experienced a major increase in his role Saturday night.

Playing 17 total minutes; the most he has played in his career at Salisbury, Gillum put up three points, four blocks, eight rebounds and a steal.

“It’s a long time coming. I’ve worked really hard for it, but I’m just happy to be playing the sport I love,” he said. “Jeter has been teaching me a lot as well as a lot of the guys on the team.”

The victory was one of the cleanest victories Salisbury has experienced this season. The unit led in field goal percentage, three point percentage, rebounds and turnovers.

After sitting seventh in the Capital Athletic Conference standings one month ago, the four game stretch has placed the Gulls in the top three of their conference, fighting to claim home court advantage in the postseason.

“Every game has different dynamics, so you have to take every game one at a time. Hopefully we keep winning and get some important games at home for the tournament,” Sachs said.

Salisbury is back in action at Maggs on Wednesday night to face Marymount, but will then head on the road to face St. Mary’s and Penn State-Harrisburg; two teams the Gulls lost to earlier in the season.

Last season, Salisbury concluded the season with a 10-game win streak, a stretch of games that ended with the Sea Gulls claiming the CAC Championship.

With students, faculty and local kids coming out to see the team play, Salisbury players are hoping to bring another championship home to their fans.

“We hear little kids on the sidewalk saying ‘good game,’ so we’ve got to do something to give back to them,” Jeter said. “We have to put teams away, and if we do that early, we can just cruise.”

WBB: Salisbury ends three-game losing streak with blowout win over Southern Virginia

BY RICKY POLLITT

Sports Editor

@rickypollitt52

After losing the past three games, Salisbury’s women’s basketball team delivered a slaughtering 101-50 victory over their conference rival Southern Virginia Saturday night at Maggs.

Behind 15 different scorers, the Gulls (9-6, 5-3 CAC) recorded the most points since February 11, 2004 where they defeated Gallaudet University 104-40.

The defensive unit was also near perfect against Southern Virginia (3-11, 2-6 CAC) in which they caused 37 turnovers, 23 steals and brought down 40 rebounds.

Sea Gulls’ head coach Kelly Lewandowski believes the win gives her team a new level of confidence they can ride with the rest of the season.

“The biggest thing is getting our confidence back,” Lewandowski said. “We wanted to get some wind back into us and just have fun again.”

Senior forward Julia McLaughlin led all scorers with 18 points, along with recording four steals and seven rebounds.

In the past three games, Salisbury had relied too much on McLaughlin’s athletic ability and was unable to spread the ball around on offense. However, the matchup saw four Sea Gulls score in double digits, including freshman Kaylyn French who has worked her way into Salisbury’s game plan.

“She’s starting to look at the basket a little bit more and get more experience,” Lewandowski said about French. “She also has to play against Julia McLaughlin every day, so that’s giving her great experience.”

French worked her way into the starting lineup in last week’s game against Wesley and followed her performance up with 12 points, five steals and a block against Southern Virginia.

“We push each other a lot in practice, and we all just make each other a lot better,” French said. “This game got us ready for the next, and we all came together and played for each other.”

Salisbury’s defense highlighted the majority of the game, holding Southern Virginia to four points in the second quarter and nine in the third.

The Knights had only one player score more than eight points and converted only fourteen percent of shots beyond the arc.

“We stay consistent no matter who we’re playing with, but we want to stay aggressive and dictate what we want them to do on offense,” Lewandowski said.

As a senior leader, McLaughlin knew her team needed a statement win to ensure the team stayed focus going into the final stretch of the season.

“We’ve been working on our energy at practice,” McLaughlin said. “There are things we need to work on, but there are things we’re doing well too. We’re trying to capitalize on what we’re doing well and carry it over while we’re working on our mistakes.”

The Sea Gulls will have their hands full on Wednesday night as they face the number one team in the CAC in Marymount. Despite the difference in records, Salisbury players believe they have the talent and skill to get the upset and begin their road back to the CAC Championship game.

“We’re excited to play another good team. We’ve dropped some big games, but this win gives us our confidence back,” McLaughlin said.

 

 

 

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