NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Salisbury University women's basketball team traveled to take on No. 2 Christopher Newport University on Wednesday night. The Sea Gulls fell to the Captains in the Capital Athletic Conference opener 67-52.
Junior Megan Konig made her presence felt in the early going, scoring Salisbury's (3-3, 0-1 CAC) first four points of the game. The Sea Gull defense picked up where they left off last game, holding Christopher Newport (5-0, 1-0 CAC) to just two points through the first 5:45 of the game. The Captains tied the game at 6-6 with just under a minute and a half remaining in the period, but freshman Amber Onyekwere came up with a steal and fast break layup for an 8-6 Salisbury lead after the first quarter.
Senior Paige Bryce expanded the lead to 10-6 on a nice hook shot in the lane to open the second quarter. A long jumper from Konig doubled up the Captains, 12-6, following a 6-0 run from the Sea Gulls. After Christopher Newport knocked down the first three-pointer of the game to bring its deficit to 16-12, Mary McDonagh answered with a midrange jump shot to push the Salisbury lead back to six, 18-12. Following another McDonagh basket and Onyekwere free throw to push the Sea Gull lead to 21-14, the Captains went on a 10-0 run to take a 24-21 lead. Onyekwere put an end to the 10-0 Christopher Newport run by making one of two free throws. The Captains took a 24-22 lead going into halftime.
Both teams struggled to establish a rhythm on the offensive end, committing 15 turnovers apiece. Christopher Newport outrebounded Salisbury 28-17 in the first half, though the Sea Gulls shot 36.4% to the Captains' 28.6% from the field.
Senior Morgan Grubb opened the second half with a corner three-pointer, the first of the game for Salisbury, to regain the lead, 25-24. Christopher Newport responded with a 9-0 run to take a 33-25 advantage. Konig ended the Sea Gull scoring drought with a midrange jump shot to bring the game to 33-27. The Captains started to pull away following Konig's jumper, however, scoring the next eight points to push their lead to 41-27. Two free throws by Courtney Brigham ended the run, but Christopher Newport scored six more to make it 46-29. Salisbury connected on four free throws and McDonagh hit a three-pointer, but the Captains outscored the Sea Gulls 28-14 in the quarter for a 52-36 lead going into the fourth.
Salisbury started the fourth quarter on a 9-2 run to pull within nine, 54-45. The teams traded baskets through the middle stages of the quarter as the Christopher Newport lead held at nine. Salisbury was unable to get any closer, as the Captains pushed their lead to 15 towards the end of the quarter and ultimately defeated Salisbury 67-52.
McDonagh had a team-high 12 points and added three rebounds, three assists, and four steals, while Konig had 10 points and eight rebounds. Rachel Ryan contributed eight points and 10 rebounds while Bryce finished her night with nine points and seven rebounds.
Salisbury plays its first home game of the season on Saturday, December 2 after playing the first six on the road. The Sea Gulls will take on Penn State University Harrisburg at 2 p.m.