Strong offensive effort pushes Sea Gulls past Eagles 85-69

Strong offensive effort pushes Sea Gulls past Eagles 85-69

SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's basketball team celebrated its Alumni Day on Saturday, February 7 with an 85-69 victory over the University of Mary Washington at Maggs Physical Activities Center in an offensive outburst that saw four Sea Gulls score 15 or more points and the team shoot 53.1 percent from the floor.

After Mary Washington scored on its first possession, the Sea Gulls answered with 13-straight points. A layup from junior Wyatt Smith put SU on the board and tied the game, before a three from sophomore Justin Witmer gave the Gulls their first lead of the game, 5-2.

Smith added another layup, and junior Rocky Harris hit from long range, before Witmer capped the opening run with his second three to push the advantage to double digits in the first six minutes, 13-2.

The Sea Gulls continued to build their lead, as senior Conor Strickland hit back-to-back threes, and junior Kyle Savercool followed with two free throws for a 21-5 advantage.

The Eagles cut the Gulls' lead to seven with a 14-5 run, but a three-point play by Smith on a layup and the free throw and five-straight points from Harris, on a three and a jump shot, powered a 10-0 stretch to regain a 17-point lead with 1:36 left in the first half.

Sophomore Gordon Jeter hit two foul shots to give Salisbury a 38-20 lead at the break. SU was shooting 50 percent from the floor and over 58 percent from behind the arc at the half, while Harris led the team with 11 points, while hitting three-of-four threes.

The teams opened the second half trading baskets over the first four minutes, but after a layup from Smith at the 16:31 mark to put the Gulls up 48-28, Salisbury held a lead of 20 or more points over the next six minutes.

Trailing 63-43 with 11:50 to go, the Eagles opened up a 10-0 spurt to get to within 10 points, but that is the closest they would get for the rest of the game, as Strickland answered with another pair of back-to-back threes to break the run and spark a 10-2 spurt to regain an 18-point advantage at 73-55.

Salisbury continued to hold its double-digit lead for the final six minutes of the contest, as junior Jacoy Gillum threw down two dunks in the final minutes to cap the victory.

Witmer led the team with 20 points, while Strickland and Smith both chipped in 17; Strickland added a team-high five threes and Smith added 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the game. Harris was the fourth Gull in double digits with 16 points.

Salisbury takes to the road for its next game, traveling to Wesley College for a Capital Athletic Conference matchup on Wednesday, February 11; the opening tip is set for 8 p.m.

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