SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University women's basketball team jumped out to an early lead and withstood a second-half comeback by Penn State University Harrisburg, defeating the Lions 65-53 on Saturday afternoon in the home-opener.
Rachel Ryan scored the first four points of the game for Salisbury (4-3, 1-1 CAC), and Megan Konig knocked down a three-pointer to get the Sea Gulls out to a 7-0 start. Penn State Harrisburg (1-6, 0-4 CAC) finally got on the board just a little over five minutes into the opening quarter, but Konig scored another basket on the ensuing Salisbury possession to make it 9-2. A short jumper in the lane by Amber Onyekwere and a Paige Bryce layup pushed the lead to 15-2. Great execution on a fast break led to a Dalina Julien layup and an 18-2 Salisbury advantage. The Lions sunk a three-pointer with 30 seconds remaining in the period, but Salisbury took an 18-5 lead into the second quarter.
Penn State Harrisburg opened the second quarter with a three-pointer before the teams exchanged baskets. Another deep three-pointer from the Lions brought their deficit to 24-14. Salisbury ended its nearly five-minute long scoring drought on a turnaround jumper by Morgan Maturani. The Lions connected on another three-pointer, but Maturani responded with another jump shot. Penn State Harrisburg pulled within eight on its third straight three-pointer, but Onyekwere drilled a long two-pointer to beat the buzzer and give the Sea Gulls a 30-20 lead heading into halftime.
Salisbury outrebounded Penn State Harrisburg 25-13 in the first half and shot 40.6% from the field compared to the Lions' 29.2%.
Penn State Harrisburg started the third quarter on a 9-0 run to pull within one, 30-29. Salisbury finally got on the board nearly five minutes into the second half on a short jumper from Maturani, which would start an 8-0 run for the Sea Gulls. Salisbury pushed the lead back to 11, 45-34, on a three-point play by Ryan, but the Lions hit a three-pointer to make the score 45-37 after three quarters.
Bryce pushed the lead back to double-digits for the Sea Gulls on a nice hook shot in the lane to start the fourth quarter. Penn State Harrisburg cut the Salisbury lead to six, but Konig responded with a three-pointer to push the lead back to nine with just over three minutes to play. A Konig layup on the following possession extended the Sea Gull lead to 11. The Lions pulled within six once again, but were unable to get any closer thanks to great defense by the Sea Gulls. Salisbury made three free throws down the stretch to seal the 65-53 victory.
Konig led the Sea Gulls with 17 points and four rebounds, while Bryce added 14 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Salisbury shot 45.0% for the game and held Penn State Harrisburg to just 34.6% shooting. The Sea Gulls outrebounded the Lions 44-31 in the game.
Salisbury continues conference play on Wednesday, December 6 as it hosts Marymount (Va.) University. The game is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.