SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's basketball team fell in the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament 60-47 to Trinity (Conn.) College on Saturday night in Hartford, Conn.
After Trinity opened the game with a layup, the Sea Gulls answered with a 5-2 spurt to take a lead just over a minute into the game.
Junior Wyatt Smith converted on a layup, before sophomore Gordon Jeter followed on Salisbury's next possession, scoring a layup with contact, before hitting a free throw to complete the three-point play.
The Bantams came right back with a 9-0 run to take an 11-5 lead; Trinity pushed the advantage to 14-5, before junior Ryan Miller hit a jump shot, but the Bantams held the Gulls to those two points in a 12-minute span and increased the lead to 21-7 with 7-0 spurt.
Senior Conor Strickland halted the run with a three from the right wing, and junior Adrien Straughn added another long-range shot to get to 25-14, but the Bantams were able to take a 29-16 lead into the half.
At the break, Strickland led the team with five points, but Trinity led the rebounding margin 16-12.
Trinity opened the second half with two free throws, but a layup on the right side from Smith sparked a 9-4 run to get Salisbury to within 10. Junior Kyle Savercool added a three in the run, while Straughn capped it with a free throw for a 35-25 score.
Trailing 38-27 with 10:27 left to go, Salisbury began a comeback attempt, as Savercool completed a three-point play, after driving on the left baseline and being fouled on a layup to start an 8-0 run to get the Gulls to within six.
After a layup from Straughn, sophomore Justin Witmer hit a three from the left wing to cut Trinity's lead to 41-35.
Two Witmer free throws kept the deficit at six, 43-37 with 6:44 to go, but the Bantams ended the game on a 17-10 run to take the victory.
Witmer finished the game with 10 points to lead the Sea Gulls, while Smith pulled down a team-high six rebounds and Straughn dished out a team-best three assists.
The Sea Gulls finished the year 21-8, 14-4 in the Capital Athletic Conference, along with winning the program's second CAC title and advancing to the NCAA second round, marking the team's most successful season since 1996-'97.