Sea Gulls fall to Lions, 77-68, in CAC action

Sea Gulls fall to Lions, 77-68, in CAC action

SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's basketball team fell in a back-and-forth contest with Penn State University-Harrisburg on Saturday afternoon at Maggs Physical Activities Center, 77-68, in Capital Athletic Conference action.

The teams opened the game trading baskets for the first six minutes of the contest. Senior Conor Strickland drained the first three points of the contest from the right wing, but the Lions answered with their own three to tie the score. Salisbury continued to put points on the board, but Penn State matched SU bucket-for-bucket until the score was tied 12-12.

Freshman Jordan Brooks hit two-consecutive layups for a 16-12 lead, first on a floating shot in the lane, before cutting down the right side and taking a baseline-inbounds pass from Strickland.

Harrisburg again answered, hitting two threes for its first lead of the game, and the teams continued to trade advantages through the rest of the first half.

Trailing 22-20, Strickland nailed another long-range shot from the top of the key for the one-point lead, before the Lions used a 4-0 spurt for their largest lead of the half at 26-23.

However, Strickland continued his hot streak, hitting a deep three from the left wing to tie the score, and each team would score once more in the half, as sophomore Charles Porter tallied a fast-break layup off a steal from junior Kyle Savercool, knotting the score at 28-28 at the break.

At halftime, the Sea Gulls were shooting 50 percent from the floor, while the Lions held a slight 13-12 edge in rebounding. Strickland led the team with nine points at the half, finishing the game second on the team with 13.

With four points from Savercool, including a right-corner three, Salisbury took a quick 32-30 lead in the first two minutes of the second half, but the start of the period proved to be much like the first, with six lead changes in the first five minutes.

After two free throws from Porter gave Salisbury a 36-35 lead, Harrisburg's Caleb Barwin hit a three with 14:22 left in the game for a 38-36 lead, eventually building a five-point lead, 43-38.

Savercool capped a 4-0 SU run with a layup, after driving down the right side to get the Gulls back to within one, 43-42, but the Lions again increased their lead with a 12-4 spurt.

A three from Porter from the left wing, followed by a Gordon Jeter three-point play, on an offensive-rebound put back and a free throw, again cut the Harrisburg lead and got Salisbury back to within three, 55-52, with just over six minutes left.

The Sea Gulls would not get any closer, as the Lions scored two-straight baskets to rebuild their lead to seven and ended the game on a 22-16 advantage for the win.

Savercool led the Gulls with 14 points, while Jeter and Porter chipped in with 11 and 10, respectively. Jeter added 12 rebounds for his second-straight double-double and fourth overall for the year, and Strickland led the team with four assists.

Salisbury takes the court again on Sunday, December 14, hosting Washington (Md.) College at Maggs PAC, with the opening tip set for 4 p.m.

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