SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's basketball team battled back from a 17-point deficit against St. Mary's (Md.) College on Wednesday evening, taking a seven-point lead, but could not hold on, falling 78-75.
Salisbury (9-7, 2-6 Capital Athletic Conference) found itself down 29-12 with 5:12 remaining in the opening half of play before chipping away to cut the edge to 11 at halftime.
The Sea Gulls came out firing in the second half connecting on five of their first six field goals to open the period on an 11-5 run, cutting the lead to 42-37 just three minutes in. Senior Mike Atkins buried a three-pointer to get the half started and classmate Mike Maczko added four points during the spurt.
A lay-up by senior Jason Nwosu set up a game-tying three-pointer from junior Elijah Gore with 13:35 left in the game. Two minutes later freshman Chris Viqueira spotted up from the top of the key and buried another triple, giving Salisbury its first lead of the game, 47-46.
The lead would change hands 10 times over the final minutes, with the Seahawks (12-5, 6-2 CAC) gaining the final lead change, but not before the Sea Gulls would push their advantage to 72-65 with two minutes remaining.
St. Mary's cut the lead to one on a three-point play and three-pointer from Devin Spencer before Chris Hutchinson hit a pair of free throws for the final lead change of the night, giving the Seahawks a 73-72 edge.
Salisbury would have a chance at the end, with Viqueira getting a look at a potential game-tying three with less than three seconds remaining, but his effort was off the mark.
Spencer scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Seahawks.
Salisbury will be back in action on Monday night as the Sea Gulls travel to Newport News, Va., to take on Christopher Newport University. It will mark the Sea Gulls' final non-conference game of the regular season. That contest is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.