BALTIMORE, Md. – Senior Mike Atkins scored a career-high 27 points as the Salisbury University men's basketball team earned a 72-61 win against Frostburg State University on Friday night at Johns Hopkins University to advance to the championship game of the Pride of Maryland Tournament.
The win gives the Sea Gulls their first 2-0 start since the 2006-07 season, beginning that year with four-straight wins.
Atkins was 9-of-12 from the floor, including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc, and connected on 5-of-6 free throws for his 27 points. Atkins buried two free throws with 13:34 remaining in the second half to break the game's fourth tie to give Salisbury the lead for good.
The Annapolis, Md., native scored 14 of his points during the second half when the Gulls outscored Frostburg St. (1-1) 42-29.
Salisbury jumped out to an early lead, but could not stretch the advantage to more than a six points and an 8-0 Bobcat run to close the first half saw the Gulls down 32-30 at the break.
It was a three-pointer from Atkins, just 17 seconds into the second period that put the Gulls back on top. The lead changed hands through the next six minutes before Atkins' free throws sent Salisbury on to a 13-5 run and the victory.
Atkins was one of four Sea Gulls to finish in double figures as junior center Trent Epps scored 11 points, on 5-of-5 shooting from the floor, and pulled down four rebounds. Salisbury shot 56.3 percent from the floor as a team.
Salisbury will take on Johns Hopkins in the Pride of Maryland championship game Saturday night. The opening tip is scheduled for 8 p.m. The Blue Jays held on for a 67-66 win over St. Mary's (Md.) College on Friday night. It will mark just the second time in the tournament's seven years that Salisbury will play for the title. The Sea Gulls fell to Johns Hopkins, in the 2006 title game, 71-60.