SALISBURY, Md. – Senior guard Anna Hackett posted a career-high 33 points and moved up the all-time scoring list in program history, as the Salisbury University women's basketball team snapped a seven-game winless streak to Virginia Wesleyan College on Saturday afternoon with a 71-61 victory in Maggs Physical Activities Center.
Hackett's 33 points moves her to No. 8 on the all-time list with 1,324 in her career so far, bumping her over alumni Kim Roth (1991-'95) and Josie Harper (1979-'83), who both posted 1,293 points in their careers.
Salisbury (4-0) only trailed once the entire game, as the Marlins (1-2) scored the first basket to take a 2-0 lead in the opening minute, but junior forward Julia McLaughlin would knock down two free throws followed up by a Hackett layup to give the Sea Gulls the lead that they wouldn't surrender for the rest of the game.
An 8-0 run starting at the 14:28 mark in the first half would give SU a nine-point lead, 15-6, off two jumpers by Hackett, a jumper by senior forward Melanie Mocniak and two more McLaughlin free throws, before a foul would send Marlin Andrea Paphites to the free throw line for three quick points.
The Gulls kept their distance for the remainder of the half, taking a 32-22 lead into the break. Salisbury shot 42.9 percent from the field through the first 20 minutes, while Virginia Wesleyan shot 34.6 percent. SU's full-court pressure caused the Marlins to turn over the ball 14 times, as senior guard Sarah Seipp recorded four steals of Salisbury's nine in the first half.
The second half saw the Marlins chip away at the Sea Gull lead, but Salisbury only let Virginia Wesleyan get within three points for the rest of the game. After an 8-0 run by the Marlins in the earlier part of the second half brought the Sea Gull lead to just 38-35, senior guard Courtney McManus spoiled the run with a three pointer. McManus finished the game with five points and a game-high nine rebounds.
Salisbury held steady with an 8-10 point lead up until the final minute of the game when the Marlins started to send the Gulls to the free-throw line in an effort to cut the lead. In the final minute, Seipp and Hackett went to the line a combined 10 times, cashing in on nine of them, to seal up a 71-61 victory.
Seipp ended the game with 14 points and a game-high five steals, as Salisbury forced 20 Marlin turnovers, 12 of which were recorded as steals for the Gulls. Hackett finished the game going 9-for-14 from the field and 14-for-16 from the free-throw line.
This is the first time since the 2005-06 season that Salisbury has opened the season 4-0. In 2005, the Gulls opened on a six-game winning streak before falling in Virginia Beach, Virginia to the Marlins, 73-60.
Salisbury will look to extend its winning streak to five on Tuesday, November 25, as the Sea Gulls welcome Stevenson University to Maggs Physical Activities Center for a 7 p.m., tipoff.