SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's basketball team has advanced to the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament Semifinals and will take on the No. 2 seed York College of Pennsylvania for the second consecutive season.
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How we got here
Salisbury advanced to the semifinals earning a 75-68 victory over No. 6 seed Wesley College on February 20 in the first round of the CAC Tournament. Chad Barcikowski recorded his eighth 20-point game of the season, netting a game-high 21 points in the Sea Gulls' victory while also pulling down a team-best eight rebounds. Johnny Fierstein continued his impressive freshman season, finishing as the team's second leading scorer totaling 13 points on a 4-of-9 performance from the field and a team-high three steals.
How they got here
York earned the No. 2 seed in the tournament and a first round bye after finishing the regular season with a 21-4 overall record and a 14-4 mark in CAC play. In a showdown against Christopher Newport University in the regular season finale for the top seed in the conference, the Spartans came up short against the Captains, falling 81-71 in Newport News, Virginia.
Scouting the Spartans
The Spartans boast the CAC's most potent offense, averaging a conference-best 83.4 points per game this season. York also ranks first in field percentage with a 47.0 percent mark while knocking down 71.5 percent of its free-throws attempts. Dalton Myers is second in the conference in points per game, averaging 18.0 while also ranking in the top five in both field goal and three-point percentage, knocking down 56.5 percent and 43.6 percent of his attempts respectively. Meanwhile Blayde Reich has made his impact felt as well this season, ranking third in the conference in rebounds per game with a mark of 7.7 while also netting 17.0 points per game.
Last time we met
These two teams met just 12 days ago on February 10, with the Sea Gulls handing the Spartans their first home loss of the season, 83-75. Six different Salisbury players finished the afternoon with double-digit points, including Barcikowski, who posted a team-high 15 and pulled down 11 rebounds to record his third double-double of the season. As a team the Sea Gulls hit 47.4 percent of its shots from the field and shot an impressive 50 percent from the three-point arc, as Gary Briddell was a perfect 4-of-4 from deep.
Veteran and rookie combination
Salisbury has found success since late December with the combination of Barcikowski and Fierstein. Since Fierstein has entered the starting lineup the Sea Gulls have posted a 13-4 record and saw a career-high from him in his first start, netting 24 points on a 61.5 percent shooting mark from the field. Between Barcikowski and Fierstein, the two have combined for 20 double-digit performances, are averaging 17.8 and 7.9 points per game respectively, and have accounted for over a third of the team's total points during the 17-game stretch, scoring 438 of the team's 1,280 total points.
The winner will take on the winner of the No. 1 seed Christopher Newport vs. No. 4 University of Mary Washington game. The championship game will be held at the highest remaining seed's court with a time to be announced.