ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's basketball team began the second half of Capital Athletic Conference play for the 2015-16 season with a resounding 73-41 victory at St. Mary's College of Maryland on Wednesday night.
The victory, which extends Salisbury's winning streak to six games, is the largest against a St. Mary's team since a 32-point win (110-78) during the 1996-97 CAC playoffs.
The 41 points surrendered are the second-fewest allowed in a game this year by the Sea Gulls, who entered the night with the second-ranked scoring defense in the nation, surrendering just 58.8 points per game.
The opening minutes of the game featured back-and-forth action, but neither team found the bottom of the net until senior Kyle Savercool drove to the basket, got fouled, and knocked down one of his free-throw tries for the first point of the game 2:22 in.
After James Foley hit at the other end for the Seahawks, Adrien Straughn went hard to the basket for a layup and the game's second lead change. It was the first of four-straight points by Straughn, as the Sea Gulls opened up the early 5-2 lead.
Salisbury (14-3, 7-3 CAC) played strong defense early on, contesting all shots, giving up few clean looks and forcing three early Seahawk turnovers, while Savercool drew a charge in the opening moments.
A quick ball reversal with just under nine minutes gone in the game gave Straughn an open look at the three-pointer, which he buried for a 12-5 Salisbury lead.
The seven-point lead was the largest for either team until that point, but a pair of three-pointers from the Seahawks cut the Salisbury edge to two at the midway point of the opening period.
Junior Justin Witmer knocked down his first triple of the game, pushing the lead back to seven points and senior Rocky Harris would get a good look for three of his own from the right corner, which he capitalized on, getting fouled in the process, and converted the four-point play for a nine-point edge, 24-15 with just over five minutes to play in the opening half.
The first-half lead topped out at 12 points, 30-18, on steals and layups from Straughn and Jeter on back-to-back possessions with just over two minutes left in the period, and the Sea Gulls held a 32-20 advantage at halftime, led by Straughn and Jeter's nine points each.
The Salisbury lead held near a dozen until a quick 6-0 spurt from the Seahawks got it to seven points, 37-30, prompting a Sea Gull timeout.
Sophomore Jordan Brooks hit one of 11 Salisbury three-pointers in the game, from the right corner, driving the lead back to double figures, where it would remain for much of the remainder of the contest, as the Sea Gull defense and hot shooting led the way through the closing 12 minutes.
Ahead by eight, the Sea Gulls took complete control with a 25-3 run over seven minutes, with eight points from Brooks during the stretch, pushing the lead to 67-37 with four minutes left.
Salisbury again brought balanced scoring to the game, with five players finishing in double figures, led by Witmer's 15 points and 14 by Jeter, who also had nine rebounds. Brooks scored 13 points off the bench with Straughn adding a dozen and Harris scoring 10.
Delaszo Smith, who scored 23 points against Salisbury on January 3 in a three-point St. Mary's win, was held to just nine points on Wednesday night, while Danny Canary also had nine off the bench for the Seahawks (8-9, 4-6 CAC).
The Sea Gulls continue road play on Saturday, January 30 at York College of Pennsylvania. The game is slated to tip off at 3 p.m.