MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – The Salisbury University women's basketball team went on the road to take on Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg in Capital Athletic Conference play and beat the Lions, 72-39 on Saturday afternoon.
In the opening quarter the Gulls (5-1, 2-0 CAC) struggled from the floor to hit their open shots (22.2 percent) as they forced the Lions (1-5, 0-2 CAC) to turn the ball over nine times. However, the Lions went for 17 in the opening period and shot 50.0 percent from the field for their highest scoring quarter of the season.
Down 17-12 to start the second, the Gulls got into the swing of things with a long two from Lauren Rothfeld followed by back-to-back three-pointers from Mary McDonagh as Salisbury showed its ability from the floor.
McDonagh would end the day as the one of two Gulls in double digits for points with 11, while she also led the team in assists with four.
The second quarter ended up as the decisive quarter for the Gulls to rebound from the slow first. After the Lions scored in the opening minute of the quarter, Salisbury held them scoreless for over eight minutes while going on a scoring spree of their own. One of the keys to the change of pace in the second quarter was a coaching decision from Head Coach Kelly Lewandowski. In the first, the Gulls pressed the Lions the length of the court but the home squad was well prepared for the tactic. In the second, Salisbury sat back in their half-court defense and Harrisburg could not crack the zone.
At quarter's end, Salisbury had outscored the Lions, 25-5 with the Lions only scoring in the first and last minute of the quarter, sandwiched between a 20-0 run for Salisbury.
At halftime, up 37-22, Salisbury had worked its field goal percentage up the 39.4 percent due to the high output of the second quarter. Salisbury held the edge in rebounds (25-16), second-chance points (10-2), and steals (9-3), as it was able to force the Lions into unfavorable situations.
Rothfeld was the Gulls offensive leader at half with 12 points off a five-for-six performance from the field. Kaylyn French led the Gulls with eight rebounds at the break to go along with six points.
Rothfeld ended the day with 16 points and her second-straight seven-steal performance. Before the start of play, Rothfeld was 15th in the nation with 4.40 steals-per contest. French concluded her game one point shy of a double-double with nine points and 11 boards.
Salisbury continued to push the pace in the third quarter. However, with four of the team's starters having accumulated three fouls at the time, the bench got to add into the Gulls attack. Heading into the last quarter, Salisbury's lead was up to 19 at 51-32 with the bench players getting the better of the home side.
In the fourth quarter, Salisbury held the Lions to just seven points as it continued to dominate on the offensive side of the court, putting up 21 in the final period. As Lewandowski got to empty the bench even more in the final quarter, it marked Salisbury's second consecutive game not just for hitting 72 points, but also so having 12 players hit field goals in the game.
Salisbury will next play on Wednesday, December 7 as its hosts non-conference opponent, the Catholic University of America. That game is set to tip at 6 p.m.