Sea Gulls drop season opener in Mapp debut

ARLINGTON, Va. - The Charisse Mapp era officially got underway Friday afternoon as the Salisbury University women's basketball team began the 2007-08 season on the road at the Marymount (Va.) tournament in Arlington, Va. The Sea Gulls fell short in Mapp's debut at the helm for the maroon and gold as Denison University beat SU 54-40 at the Verizon Sports Arena.

Salisbury (0-1) led 23-19 at the intermission but got outscored 35-17 in the second half en route to the 14-point loss. Junior Monica Merkel led the maroon and gold with 12 points as she was 5-of-17 shooting from the field.

The Big Red (1-0) took their first lead of the game at the 13:01 mark of the second half on an Ellen O'Brien layup to put Denison up 34-33. SU got as close as 40-37 with just under 10 minutes left in the game but was outscored 20-7 after it relinquished its lead to suffer the first loss of the season.

Last year's returning leading scorer, Meghan Phillips, was held scoreless for the contest as the senior was 0-for-3 from the field.

Denison turned SU's 23 turnovers into 22 points but Salisbury outrebounded the Big Red 44-41 for the game which includes a 16-12 advantage on the offensive end of the court.

The Sea Gulls return to the hardwood on Saturday, November 17, as they play King's (Pa.) College at 11 a.m. in the second day of the three-day tournament.

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