SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's basketball team fell in a hard-fought Capital Athletic Conference game against St. Mary's College of Maryland, 68-67, as the teams battled down to the final seconds on Wednesday night at Maggs Physical Activities Center.
Witmer drained a three to continue the opening run, before junior Kyle Savercool capped the stretch with a layup, followed by a free throw after a foul, giving SU a 10-0 lead before St. Mary's would score.
The Seahawks cut the lead to 14-6, but Witmer again hit from long distance to push the lead back to double digits at 17-6.
With 7:34 left in the first half, St. Mary's got their deficit back down to single digits 22-14, but a pair of Witmer layups increased the Gulls' advantage to 12, before a free throw from Jeter gave SU its largest lead of the half, 27-14; the Gulls kept the lead in double digits for the rest of the half.
With six points from junior Wyatt Smith, all on layups, in the final four minutes before the break, Salisbury took a 35-23 lead into halftime. Witmer led all scorers with 14 points in the first half, while the Sea Gulls were shooting 53.6 percent from the floor. Salisbury also led the rebounding 18-11.
St. Mary's cut into SU's lead with a 5-2 run to open the second half, but the Gulls answered with a 5-2 spurt of their own, capped by a layup from freshman Jordan Brooks to put the lead back up to double digits 44-33.
SU continued to hold its lead, but with just under 10 minutes left in the game, two free throws from Nick LaGuerre sparked an 11-0 run, giving the Seahawks their first lead of the game, 52-51.
However, Witmer drained a long-distance shot from the left corner to regain the lead for the Sea Gulls, 54-52.
Jeter and Smith followed with layups on a 6-0 stretch that gave Salisbury a 58-52 lead with 5:22 to go.
St. Mary's answered again with an 8-0 run to take the lead 60-58, and the teams continued to trade leads down the stretch, but with 16 seconds left, Smith put Salisbury ahead 67-66 with two makes from the foul line. However, St. Mary's Tanner Brooks converted on two free throws with seven seconds left to take the victory for the Seahawks.
Smith and Witmer both scored 20 points to lead the Gulls, while Smith pulled down 12 rebounds for a double-double.
Salisbury returns to Maggs PAC on Saturday, January 31 for a CAC contest with Southern Virginia University; the opening tip is set for 3 p.m.