SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's basketball team opened the home portion of its schedule with a 69-58 loss against No. 25 Virginia Wesleyan College, Tuesday night at the Maggs Physical Activities Center.
Freshman Gordon Jeter, playing his first contest on the Maggs hardwood, made himself comfortable in his new digs, leading the Sea Gulls with 15 points and seven boards. The Easton, Md., native played a game-high 33 minutes and went 4-for-11 from the field, including 2-of-5 from beyond the three-point arc.
Salisbury (1-1) played the Marlins tough, but the size and athleticism of Virginia Wesleyan (1-0) proved to be too much. The Marlins were quick to many balls off the rim, outrebounding Salisbury 36-31 in the contest, but with a 20-12 advantage in the second half on the boards.
The action was back and forth in the first half, with neither team running away with the contest. Jeter and senior Tim Harwood led the Sea Gulls with nine points each in the first half. The duo, along with sophomore Ryan Miller, pulled down three rebounds in the first 20 minutes to pace Salisbury's rebounding efforts.
Virginia Wesleyan led by as many as eight points, with 6:26 left in the first half, before the Sea Gulls stormed back to tie the contest for a third time, this time at 28 apiece, when Jeter hit a three-pointer right in front of the Marlin bench with 1:31 remaining in the first half. Virginia Wesleyan's Greg Montgomery put back an offensive rebound as the clock expired to give the Marlins a 30-28 lead at the break.
The action in the second half was similar to the first 20 minutes, with the two teams battling but Virginia Wesleyan adding to their lead. The Marlins pushed the lead to double digits for the first time with 10:59 remaining in the contest when Montgomery got inside the paint for a layup, pushing the lead to 49-38.
Jeter made a three with 7:27 remaining in the contest to trim the deficit to 49-44 but that was as close as the Sea Gulls would get.
Down the stretch, with Virginia Wesleyan holding a lead, junior Conor Strickland, sophomore Kyle Savercool and freshman Justin Witmer hit three-point field goals, but those efforts proved to be in vain.
Harwood would be the only other Sea Gull to finish with double digit points, finishing with 12 on the night, while sophomore Luke Ruland had four blocks in the game.
DJ Woodmore netted a game-high 18 points to lead the Marlins. Colby Heard added 15 points for the Marlins, who snapped a two-game losing streak to Salisbury.
The Sea Gulls head across the Bay Bridge this weekend to the Hoopsville National Invitational Classic in Owings Mills, Md. The Sea Gulls will take on Birmingham Southern College on the campus of Stevenson University Friday afternoon, with an opening tip scheduled for 4 p.m.