CHESTER, Pa. – One day after winning despite shooting less than 30 percent from the floor, the Salisbury University men's basketball team struck a decidedly stronger note from the floor, shooting better than 46 percent from the field allowing the Sea Gulls to roll past Widener University, 83-50, in the title game of the Widener Tipoff Tournament on Saturday afternoon.
Junior Justin Witmer was good on 50 percent of his shots, including a 5-of-11 day from three-point land to score a game-high 23 points and earn all-tournament team honors, while classmate Gordon Jeter scored 18 to go with eight rebounds to be named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
Salisbury (2-0) made quick work of the Pride, jumping ahead to an 18-5 lead and never seeing the deficit drop into single digits again.
The Sea Gulls hit their first three shots of the game, with Witmer starting things with a three-pointer following a pair of free throws from sophomore Jordan Brooks.
After David Nicholson hit a three for Widener (1-1), Salisbury scored seven straight, with five coming from Jeter. Three-pointers from senior Kyle Savercool and Witmer pushed the Salisbury lead to 18-5 with over 13 minutes left in the half.
The Pride would get a point on one free throw before the Sea Gulls opened things up thanks to another Witmer three and four points from senior Rocky Harris for the 25-6 lead.
The advantage grew two 22 points, 42-20, at halftime with Salisbury shooting 50 percent from the floor (13-for-26) and on three-pointers (5-for-10) in the first 20 minutes. Witmer scored 11 of his points in the opening half and Jeter had nine.
Witmer and Jeter led Salisbury on a 9-0 run to open the second half with Witmer again hitting from outside. The pair combined for the Sea Gulls' first 14 points of the second half, capped by a Jeter dunk set up by senior Adrien Straughn, pushing Salisbury's advantage to 56-25.
The lead grew to as much as 35 points in the second half, when Straughn hit a layup with 13:47 left in the game, and the advantage stayed near 30 points the rest of the way.
The Sea Gulls are back in action next Friday, November 20 at the Hoopsville Classic in Owings Mills, Maryland. Salisbury takes on Southern Vermont College, beginning at 4 p.m.