BABSON PARK, Mass. – The Salisbury University women's basketball team went on the road to take on the Babson College Beavers and fell to the home team, 74-59 on Thursday afternoon at the Staake Gymnasium.
The game got off to a fast start with each side hitting their opening shots. As has been the case lately Josephine Noonan was the Sea Gulls (7-3) early catalyst, getting four of the team's first six points as Salisbury worked up to a 6-2 lead just under two minutes into the game.
However, after the early run, the home side was able to push the pace and get behind the Gulls' defense. Babson (9-1) worked its lead up to six points but a late surge by the Gulls, keyed by a big three-point play from Paige Bryce got Salisbury back within three at the close of the quarter 18-15.
Bryce ended the day with an impressive nine points and five boards off the bench.
Kaylyn French was a force in the first quarter on the glass, snatching six boards as the entire Babson team had six at the end of the quarter.
Babson came out firing in the second and got the lead up to nine at 26-17, but the Sea Gulls did not let the Beavers get too far ahead. Salisbury strung together two baskets from Morgan Maturani and Mary McDonagh before Babson got another score. Right as Babson appeared to have stopped the Gulls' short run, Aprile Preller hit from three to bring the score to 28-24 with just over four minutes to go in the half.
After Preller's three, the Beavers would go on to control the rest of the quarter, outscoring Salisbury 12-5 the rest of the way to bring the score to 40-29 at the break. After the Gulls controlled the rebounding in the first quarter, 12-6, Babson outrebounded Salisbury 14-5 in the second quarter as a big part of its second-quarter emergence.
Babson started the third in control of the contest and displayed its ability to score in the low post area. Babson stretched its lead to as many as 14 points before Lauren Rothfeld came alive. After tallying zero points in the first half, Rothfeld netted nine points in the third quarter to keep Salisbury in the game. As Rothfeld began to heat up, Babson started to press out on the Gulls' leading scorer and hold the entire Salisbury offense in check.
Rothfeld contributed 12 points and five assists at game's end as the team's leading scorer.
Babson pushed the lead to 15 at 60-45 but a pair of McDonagh free throws in the closing seconds sent the game into the fourth quarter with Babson up, 60-47.
In the fourth quarter Babson continued to extend its lead as each side began to send some unfamiliar faces into the contest. Babson outscored the Gulls 14-12 in the final quarter to close out the game.
The story of the game was the Beaver's control of the paint area. They were able to outrebound Salisbury 42-35, while tallying 38 of their points in the paint.
Salisbury will return to action tomorrow remaining in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as they take on Wellesley College on its home court at 1 p.m.