By Diamond Holton
Salisbury University women’s basketball held on to defeat Penn State University- Harrisburg, 65-55, in Maggs Gymnasium Wednesday evening.The Lady Gulls (6-1, 3-0 CAC) started off slow versus Penn State as Salisbury won the tip-off but was immediately stolen by senior Yolanna “Lucky” Snypse who assisted senior Jasmine Yanich with the jumper.
The Lions (4-5, 1-2 CAC) kept the pressure on remaining strapped on defense causing the Lady Gulls to have 10, 24 total, turnovers in the first half. Head coach Kelly Lewandowski had to take a quick timeout as her team was down seven to one early on.
“We need to take care of the ball,” she said. “That just seems to be the theme of the season this far and I think it has to do with a little bit of our youth, but we just need to possess the ball and be stronger with the ball.”
Salisbury found their momentum in the second quarter outscoring the Lions 22-8 giving them a 29-16 lead before the half. The start of that was the 6-0 run by the Lady Gulls to begin the second quarter followed by an open three from sophomore Morgan Grubb.
A lay-in plus the foul from junior Lauren Rothfeld set up another run to keep the lead. The Lions struggled on the boards in the first half being outrebounded 34-12.
Although they maintained the lead, Salisbury’s shooting percentage was low to start off shooting 31 percent going 13 for 42 from the field, but managed to increase it to 50 percent in the second half.
Penn State’s sophomore Janel Brown led her team in the third quarter with an early jumper from behind the arc, one of two three’s made for the night. She notched 12 points for her team especially in the fourth quarter to help cut down Salisbury’s increasing lead to single digits, 61-53.
The head coach of the Lions, Ross Patrick, resorted to hack-a-shaq in the fourth to attempt to put his team back in the game. He consistently alternated between Brown and senior Kiara Carter for his defensive strategy of fouling and tight defense during inbounding.
Three players scored in double digits among them being Rothfeld with 14 points, Grubb with 10 points and senior Julia McLaughlin with a double-double acquiring 18 points and 12 boards. McLaughlin said it felt better compared to her last game where she only scored two points.
“The last game I didn’t play very much and I got into foul trouble a little early,” she said. “It was just frustrating, but today I was just excited to play.”
Rothfeld, in addition to her points, added six rebounds, two assists and two steals for the night. She said the most important thing for next week is worrying about themselves and the team.
“We have to focus on how we’re going to play,” Rothfeld said. “We’ve been talking about playing a full 40 minutes for the longest time and so hopefully we can go into winter break with that.”
The Lady Gulls have their hands full before the new year comes about. They head on the road playing a non-conference matchup against Washington College on Saturday at 6 p.m. before the holiday break and also to Florida for the Orlando Tournament at the end of the month.