SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 22 Salisbury University men's basketball team earned a win in its first game of the 2019 calendar year, topping visiting Penn State University-Harrisburg on Saturday afternoon, 78-65.
The Sea Gulls (12-1, 2-0 Capital Athletic Conference) found themselves in a hole early after a pair of three-pointers by Penn State-Harrisburg's Donyae Baylor-Carroll sparked a game-opening 10-5 run.
Salisbury scored eight of the next 11 points to draw even at 13-13 with a three by Mike Ward tying the game with 14:24 left in the first half.
Baylor-Carroll connected on a pair of free throws, but another Ward triple gave Salisbury the lead for good.
The game remained tight before Gary Briddell scored five points in the blink of an eye to open Salisbury's advantage to eight points. Briddell connected for a three-pointer in the corner before stealing the ensuing inbound pass and getting a quick layup for a 25-17 lead.
Briddell scored a team-high-tying 17 in the game, connecting three times from outside.
Salisbury was able to protect the lead, going to the locker room ahead 44-37.
An run by the Lions (9-4, 1-1 CAC) to open the second half, cut Salisbury's advantage to two points, 46-44, but the Sea Gulls scored the next 13 points to take control. Lucas Martin scored four during the run – and had a career-high 17 points in the game – as Salisbury kept its lead in double figures through the final 12 minutes of the game.
Along with Briddell and Martin's 17, Blair Davis finished with a dozen and Chase Kumor scored 10. Martin also pulled down eight rebounds while Marquis Roberson and Kumor each had four steals and Salisbury blocked nine Lion shot attempts with James Foley, Johnny Fierstein, and Martin each turning two tries away.
Salisbury returns to action on Wednesday, January 9, traveling to the University of Mary Washington. That game is slated to tip at 8 p.m.