OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The Salisbury University men's basketball team opened up action in the 2015 Hoopsville Classic, hosted by Stevenson University, on Friday afternoon, coming from behind to collect a 60-59 win against Southern Vermont College.
Down four with under two minutes to play, the Sea Gulls (3-0) saw senior Kyle Savercool grab the offensive rebound following a miss from junior Justin Witmer. Savercool put back the offensive board and scored while being fouled. He converted the free throw to cut the Mountaineers' lead to 57-56.
Following a Southern Vermont (1-1) bucket, Witmer got a chance at the charity stripe and converted both, leaving Salisbury down 59-58 with 1:19 showing on the clock. Salisbury was good on more than 75 percent of its free throws in the game, going 10-for-13, including 6-of-7 in the second half.
Salisbury would get a pair of defensive stops, calling a timeout with 12 seconds to go, drawing up the game's final play.
Sophomore guard Jordan Brooks made the most of the final try, hitting the game-winning layup by driving down the right side and floating in the shot with five seconds remaining. The win gets Salisbury out to a 3-0 start for the first time since the 2012-13 season.
Salisbury led through the early portions of the second half, using a 12-2 run to open up a 39-34 lead. It was a three-pointer by junior Gordon Jeter that capped that run, and another triple a few moments later by Witmer pushed the Sea Gull lead to 42-36. Witmer was one of four Sea Gulls in double figure scoring, knocking down three shots from outside for 11 points on the night, while grabbing three steals.
The Mountaineers tied the game with just under eight minutes to play and took the lead with 7:08 showing on the clock, holding the advantage until Brooks delivered the final bucket of the night.
The game was close throughout, with the largest first-half lead for either team just eight points, as Southern Vermont opened the contest on a 14-6 run. But Salisbury would chip away.
Senior Rocky Harris drove down the right side, drawing the double team before dumping the ball off to Jeter for a one-handed flush, cutting the edge to 14-8 just over six minutes into the game.
The lead grew to eight again, but Salisbury put together an 10-0 run with senior Justin May dropping a layup in from the left side, tying the game at 18-18 before Jeter went up on the offensive glass for a put back and the first Sea Gull lead since 2-0, with seven minutes left in the half.
Jeter led the way offensively, scoring 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting, while grabbing six rebounds. Savercool and Brooks each finished with 11 points while Savercool also pulled in eight rebounds. Brooks had a pair of steals and Harris dished out a career-high six assists for Salisbury.
The Sea Gulls return to action on Saturday, November 21, on the second day of the Hoopsville Classic, taking on DeSales University, with the opening tip slated for 2 p.m.