SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's basketball team fell in Capital Athletic Conference action to Marymount (Va.) University 60-56, despite a late push for a last-minute thriller, on Wednesday night at Maggs Physical Activities Center.
The Sea Gulls found the basket first, as sophomore Justin Witmer drained a three from the left corner for a quick 3-0 lead on SU's first possession.
Marymount answered with an 8-1 run to take a four-point lead, but junior Wyatt Smith hit two free throws to get the Sea Gulls back to within two. After a defensive rebound, junior Kyle Savercool dribbled the length of the court and found a cutting Smith on the right side of the lane for a fast-break layup to tie the score 8-8.
The Saints retook their lead in the next possession and pushed the advantage to 14-11, but Witmer drove on the left baseline and converted a layup to bring Salisbury within one.
From there, Marymount went on another run, this time a 13-4 spurt that gave the Saints their largest lead of the half at 10 points.
Salisbury was able to get as close as six before halftime, as sophomore Gordon Jeter drove right and passed across the paint to Savercool for a left-handed layup, before two free throws from Savercool to make the score 27-21 with 2:34 left before the break.
The Saints took a 32-23 lead into halftime, as Savercool led the Gulls with nine points.
The teams traded threes to open the second half, with Smith banking in a long-distance shot from the right wing to start the period. Marymount's Jesse Konadu answered to regain the nine-point lead for the Saints.
Trailing 45-36, a 12-4 run in Salisbury's favor got the Gulls back to within one point, the closest deficit since there was 8:14 left in the first half. Junior Ryan Miller sparked the stretch with a hook shot on the left block, before Witmer drained a three from the top of the key, making the score 45-41.
After Strickland hit a floater after driving down the middle of the lane, Savercool nailed a left-corner three, followed by an up-and-under layup from Witmer to make the score 49-48.
Marymount went on a 7-2 run to take a 56-50 lead, but Salisbury continued to fight back, and with 20 seconds left, Witmer hit a three from the left corner to cut the lead to three. After two Saint free throws, Witmer again found the stroke from long range on the left wing, cutting the score to 58-56 with only four seconds left, but two more Marymount foul shots would cap the game, despite the late push.
Witmer finished the game with 18 points to lead the Gulls, while Savercool chipped in with 12. Jeter paced the team with six rebounds, while also dishing out a team-high four assists.
The Sea Gulls take to the road for their next game on Saturday, January 17 against Frostburg State University in CAC action; the opening tip is set for 3 p.m.