SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's basketball team picked up its fourth-consecutive victory and sixth in its previous seven contests as the Gulls took down Christopher Newport University, 83-58, before a raucous crowd Wednesday evening in Maggs Physical Activities Center.
The Sea Gulls had five scorers in double digits, led by senior Tim Harwood's 20 points. The Rockville, Md., native went 6-of-8 from the field in the contest, including 4-for-5 from behind the three-point line. Salisbury's all-time free throw percentage leader was perfect from the charity stripe on his four attempts. Harwood had a balanced night, netting 10 points in each half.
Salisbury (10-10, 5-6 CAC) started the first half firing on all cylinders, from all over the court. The Sea Gulls netted the first eight points of the contest over the first 3:02 of the contest. Freshman Gordon Jeter put Salisbury on the board, getting in the paint and putting home a pass from Harwood. Following a Christopher Newport (14-6, 6-5 CAC) turnover, senior Brandyn Wilkerson hit a three, followed by another made shot from long range by classmate Dominic Milburn.
With 13:32 remaining in the half, Salisbury would push its lead to 17-2 with a free throw by freshman Charles Porter. Following a Captain three-point play, Salisbury would answer with its own, a hoop and free throw by Milburn to push the lead back to 15.
The Sea Gulls would keep the lead near or above double digits for much of the half, with the Captains cutting the lead to seven at the break, 33-26. Salisbury went 12-for-21 (57.1 percent) from the field in the first 20 minutes of play, including 4-of-10 from behind the three-point arc. Christopher Newport was 9-of-22 (40.9 percent) from the field and 1-for-8 (12.5 percent) from distance in the first half.
The two teams traded baskets early in the second half, with the Captains pulling within three, 38-35, with 15:40 remaining in the contest. Christopher Newport did much of the heavy lifting without its leading scorer, Tra Benefield, who went to the bench with four fouls just 2:18 into the second half.
With Benefield on the bench, the Captains were unable to keep up with Salisbury, which pushed its lead to 52-38 before Benefield came back into the contest with 11:13 remaining. Once back on the floor, the senior, who came into the contest averaging 18.4 points per game, was held to three points for the rest of the night and finished with 10.
Salisbury continued to hit its shots in the second half, going 15-of-27 (55.6 percent) from the floor in the final 20 minutes and 5-for-11 (45.5 percent) from long distance. Leading the charge to put the game out of reach was freshman Justin Witmer who scored each of his 11 points in the second half, going 3-for-4 from the field, including 2-of-3 from long distance, and 3-for-3 from the line.
Jeter, Milburn, Porter and Witmer were the other Sea Gulls to reach double digits, netting 11 points each. This is the seventh-consecutive contest that Milburn has scored in double digits. In total, 12 Sea Gulls registered points in the contest.
Porter pulled down a team-high five rebounds, while Milburn dished out a team-best four assists.
Tim Daly led the Captains with 16 points, with Benefield the only other Christopher Newport player to reach double digits.
Salisbury is back in action on Saturday, traveling to Fredericksburg, Va., to take on the top team in the CAC, No. 12 University of Mary Washington. That contest is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.