SALISBURY, Md. – Celebrating Valentine's Day on the hardwood Saturday afternoon, the No. 17 Salisbury University women's basketball team downed Capital Athletic Conference foe Frostburg State University, 68-42, in the annual Play4Kay game in Maggs Physical Activities Center to remain undefeated in league play.
A slow start didn't see scoring for the Sea Gulls (22-1, 16-0 CAC) until over three minutes in, but a nice drive down the lane by senior Melanie Mocniak for the finish, foul and free throw for the three-point play put SU on the board. Still trailing FSU by one, junior Julia McLaughlin connected on the next series, catching the feed from senior Courtney McManus for the strong finish at the rim and the 5-4 lead.
Giving up four-consecutive points to the Bobcats, the Sea Gulls found themselves trailing again, but a three-pointer by senior Anna Hackett ignited a 10-point run to give Salisbury a 15-8 advantage by the 10:40 mark of the first half. Hackett continued the run with a jumper, before senior Aleisha Hobbs pulled down an offensive board and put back for two more points. Sophomore Lauren Rothfeld capped off the run from behind the arc for one of her two three-pointers for the game.
The Bobcats (4-18, 2-14 CAC) slowly chipped away at the deficit, eventually reclaiming the lead with under four minutes left in the half. Unable to get anything going, some fresh legs for the Sea Gulls paid off as freshman Josephine Noonan came off the bench for six points in two minutes, along with a free throw by junior Karly Oristian, to bind the game at 28-28 at the break.
Noonan paced the offense at the half with her six points, while Mocniak led the defense with five rebounds and two blocks.
The second half was all Salisbury on the offensive side, improving its first-half shooting of 29 percent to 45.7 percent in the final 20 minutes of play.
At the restart, the Sea Gulls made good use of their first possession, as senior Alexis Perno found Rothfeld for a jumper to give SU a 30-28 advantage. Only allowing the game to be tied one more time on the Bobcats next basket, Oristian answered with a layup and a lead that would not be surrendered by SU for the remainder of the game.
Quickly separating itself from FSU, another 10-point run over a two-minute span gave the Sea Gulls their first double-digit lead. Started off by Rothfeld's second three-pointer of the game, senior Sarah Seipp added a three-point play of her own, receiving a pass from Hackett and driving down the lane for the basket, foul and free throw. Hobbs and Hackett finished off the run with two layups.
Salisbury put together a seven-point run later in the half, off good baskets by Noonan and freshman Paige Bryce, along with a three-pointer by McManus, to eclipse the 20-point advantage, 61-37.
Hobbs and junior Kathy Albornoz finished off the scoring for Salisbury in the final two minutes with a three-point play by Hobbs and a jumper by Albornoz, as the Gulls finished off the 68-42 victory.
Hackett and Seipp led the Sea Gulls with nine points apiece, while Rothfeld and Noonan chipped in for eight each. Hobbs finished with a game-high 10 rebounds along with her seven points.
Prior to the game, Hackett, Seipp, McManus, Hobbs, Mocniak, and Perno were all recognized for their careers with the Sea Gulls.
The women head on the road for their final two games of the regular season, starting the series at Marymount (Va.) University on Wednesday, February 18 at 6 p.m., before ending at York College of Pennsylvania on Saturday, February 21 at 1 p.m.