OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The Salisbury University men's basketball program has for years been known for great outside shooting. At one point, for a span of 20 seasons, the Sea Gulls made at least one three-pointer in every game for 500 consecutive games. On Saturday afternoon, during the second day of the Hoopsville Classic, hosted by Stevenson University, the Sea Gulls made a new mark in the program's long-distance record book, connecting on 19 three-point attempts, breaking the school record which had stood since the 1993-94 season.
The Sea Gulls' 19-of-30 shooting on the day, led Salisbury to an 89-79 victory against DeSales University.
Salisbury (4-0) got the early lead thanks to its shooting from inside the arc, grabbing an 11-4 lead with two-point buckets from senior Kyle Savercool, juniors Justin Witmer and Gordon Jeter, and sophomore Jordan Brooks while senior Rocky Harris hit the one early three-pointer for the Gulls.
The Bulldogs (2-2) rallied to take a 13-11 lead with 12 minutes left in the game, but then Salisbury began to light it up from outside. Harris hit his second from outside to get the lead back for Salisbury, and moments later Savercool connected on a pair of threes to push the advantage to 20-15.
The lead traded hands three more times in the first half, allowing DeSales to hold a 23-22 lead with just over eight minutes to play in the period before the Sea Gulls went outside and stayed there.
Salisbury went on a 26-15 run over the final eight minutes of the first half, scoring just 11 of the points from inside the arc.
Five different Sea Gulls hit threes in the closing minutes of the half with Harris fittingly ending the period with Salisbury's ninth three-pointer of the half for a 48-38 lead at the break. The Sea Gulls went 9-of-14 from outside in the first half, with Harris hitting three.
Savercool and Brooks each made three-pointers in the early moments of the second half, opening up Salisbury's biggest lead of the game, 54-38. The game remained near or just over 10 points the rest of the way, with the records beginning to fall later in the contest.
Senior Justin May connected from outside on consecutive possessions, to tie and then break the Hoopsville Classic record at 15 team three-pointers. May was 5-for-6 from outside, which left him one shy of the tournament record for individual makes. He finished with a game-high 19 points, leading five Sea Gulls in double figures.
It was sophomore Chad Barcikowski who drained the program record-breaking three with 4:48 left for the 19th triple of the day, breaking the record that had stood since February 21, 1994.
For the game, Salisbury hit 63.3 percent from outside, the best three-point shooting percentage since December 6, 2009 when the Sea Gulls made 68.2 percent against Hampden-Sydney College.
While Salisbury's stellar shooting allowed the Sea Gulls to hold on to the lead throughout the second half, the Bulldogs remained close, but Jeter ended any chance of a comeback with just under two minutes to go. As the shot clock was about to expire, Jeter pulled up from 18 feet, just in front of the Sea Gull bench, and buried a shot that pushed the lead back to double figures, 87-77, and Salisbury cruised from there.
Jeter and Harris each scored 12 points while Jeter grabbed seven rebounds in the win. Savercool finished with 16 points and Barcikowski added 11 off the bench.
Salisbury will get their first chance to play in front of the home crowd, this Tuesday, November 24, hosting No. 2 Virginia Wesleyan College at Maggs Physical Activities Center. The game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.