SALISBURY, Md. – Mike Atkins tallied a game-high 20 points and nine rebounds and Mike Maczko chipped in with 17 points and six boards as the No. 20 Salisbury University men's basketball team held off Pennsylvania State University-Abington, 80-77, to claim third place in the 2011 Optimist Classic on Saturday.
Jim Williamson converted a three-point play with two seconds to play to pull the Nittany Lions to within 79-77 but they could get no closer as Maczko buried a free throw and Abington (2-3) was unable to get a shot off as time expired.
Abington nearly erased a 15-point, 63-48, Salisbury (5-2) lead with 7:51 to play. After Devin Posey nailed a pair from the line to give SU its biggest lead of the day, Don DeLeo knocked down a three-pointer to kick start an 8-2 run that was capped with a Max Alton three with 5:29 to play for a 65-56 deficit.
A Maczko layup with 3:03 remaining restored the Sea Gulls' double-digit lead at 70-60 but Abington made one final run that came up short.
Jason Nwosu also reached double figures with 13 points for SU. DeLeo and Mike Colacci had 12 points apiece for Abington.
The Nittany Lions led by as many as five with 2:23 left in the first half when Colacci drained a jumper to make it 33-28.
Maczko hit two free throws in the opening minute of the second half to give the Gulls their first lead since 4:09 left in the first half.
SU then engineered a 17-4 stretch over the next 5:18 for the 15-point advantage.
Posey and Matthew Jackson each had three assists for SU while Posey also tallied three steals.
Abington shot 27-for-57 (47.4 percent) from the field and SU was 24-of-61 (39.3).
SU travels to Marymount (Va.) University on Tuesday at 8 p.m.