SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 17 Salisbury University men's basketball team bounced back from its first Capital Athletic Conference loss of the season this past weekend by claiming a 70-68 win against visiting Wesley College on Wednesday night at Maggs Physical Activities Center.
Senior Gordon Jeter put home a shot in the paint and freshman Al Leder knocked down a jumper from outside to begin the scoring for Salisbury. After a Wesley three-pointer, Leder hit one of his own, just outside of where he hit the two-point jumper, to allow the Gulls to open the early 7-3 lead.
Salisbury (13-3, 8-1 CAC) pushed the lead to double figures at 16-6 thanks to a basket from Terray Quickley and a three-point play by Barry Bratten before a pair of Wesley buckets brought the lead back to six points, prompting a Sea Gull timeout.
After the break in action, Salisbury pushed the lead back to nine points with a Jeter three-point play, but the Wolverines (6-10, 4-5 CAC) would not go away. A run by the visitors got the edge back down to five, but a quick four points gave Salisbury a comfortable lead.
Wyatt Smith hit a runner in the lane with his left hand before Jeter came up with a steal at the top of the key and went the distance for a two-handed dunk in transition before senior Justin Witmer drew a charge at the other end and Salisbury held a 25-16 lead with 6:28 left in the half.
The Sea Gulls would fail to score over the next four minutes with the Wolverines cutting the lead down 25-24 before junior Jordan Brooks got to the line and hit one of his two tries. The Sea Gulls scored two points from the line but the Wolverines grabbed their first lead of the night with 1:40 left in the half, beginning a back-and-forth battle that would last through the final 22 minutes of the game.
Smith got the lead back with a minute left in the first half, spinning into the lane, and getting knocked off balance, but hit the basket to make it 29-28. Smith would hit two from the charity stripe to close out the first half allowing Salisbury to take a 31-28 lead into halftime.
Early in the second half, Tyrone Craven hit a step-back jumper at the left elbow to tie the game at 33-33 and on the next possession the Wolverines went inside with Paul Clemons hitting to give Wesley a 35-33 lead, and bringing about a quick Salisbury timeout.
The Wesley lead grew to five points before Salisbury went on a 10-0 run to retake the lead. Quickley hit on the inside while being fouled with just under four minutes gone in the second half to get the lead back, 39-38 – one of six second-half lead changes – and Salisbury pulled away with a Jeter bucket and a Wesley turnover with 15 minutes left, prompting a Wolverine timeout down 43-38.
Salisbury held the lead for the next three minutes, but Brian Cameron hit a three-pointer from the right wing to put the Wolverines ahead, 46-45, but the Wesley lead lasted just a minute before Barry Bratten followed Jeter's missed layup with a quick put back.
Salisbury last trailed in the game with five minutes left, but a Jeter bucketed tied the game at 59-59 and the Sea Gulls pushed their lead to five points with two minutes to play.
The Wolverines tied things at 68-68 on a Clemons layup with 18 seconds left, and on the other end Smith was good for the winning bucket for the Sea Gulls taking the ball at the high post and driving hard to the basket for a layup on the right side with 5.1 seconds remaining.
The Wolverines brought the ball up the court and got a timeout with 2.1 seconds on the clock, drawing up a play to get Cameron a look at a potential game-winning three-point attempt, but the effort was off the mark, giving Salisbury the victory.
Jeter finished with 21 points to lead the Sea Gulls to go with seven rebounds and three steals, while Smith had 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists with Quickley scoring a career-high 13 points.
The Sea Gulls play their next two games away from home, traveling to Marymount (Va.) University on Saturday, January 21.That game is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.