Gulls set program record 13th CAC win, defeat Marymount 71-63

Gulls set program record 13th CAC win, defeat Marymount 71-63

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Salisbury University men's basketball team defeated Marymount (Va.) University 71-63 on Wednesday night, setting the program record with its 13th Capital Athletic Conference victory of the season and moving into sole possession of second place in the conference with one game to play.

Salisbury caught fire from the start of the first half, opening the game on a 21-5 run, as junior Wyatt Smith began the game with a layup, before draining a three from the top of the arc for SU's first five points and a 5-3 lead.

Junior Rocky Harris followed with a three from the right wing, and senior Conor Strickland added two more long-range shots, as the Gulls hit four in the opening stretch. The run was capped by an alley-oop-style pass from Strickland to sophomore Gordon Jeter for a layup.

Back-to-back three-pointers from sophomore Justin Witmer and junior Adrien Straughn continued to grow the Gulls' lead, pushing it to 20, 27-7, with 10:27 left in the first half.

From there, Smith took over the half, scoring 15 points in the final ten minutes of the period, including Salisbury's next five on a jumper, a layup, and a free throw for a 32-15 lead. He added his second three and two more layups, before Harris would close the half with a three at the buzzer to take a 47-26 advantage into the break.

At halftime, Smith led the Gulls with 17 points and eight rebounds, while the team was shooting 56.3 percent from the floor and from behind the arc.

Marymount opened the second half with the first four points, but Witmer cut down the right side of the lane to take a pass from Harris for a fast-break layup. After another Saint score, Smith drove down the middle for a layup for a 51-31 lead with 16:42 to go in the game.

The Saints began chipping away at the SU lead over the next 10 minutes, cutting the advantage to only nine, 58-49, with 6:20 to go after an 18-7 run.

However, the Sea Gulls continued to get to the charity stripe, hitting 13-of-17 free throws, including six from Harris, down the stretch to preserve the lead for the win.

Smith led the way with 20 points and 17 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season, while Harris netted 12 and Strickland chipped in with 11. Strickland led the way with four assists, as well.

The Sea Gulls close out their regular season on Saturday, February 21 with a road-CAC contest against York College of Pennsylvania; the opening tip is set for 3 p.m.

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