Sea Gulls sting Hornets in Optimist Classic first round

SALISBURY, Md. - The Salisbury University women's basketball team ended its two game skid on Friday night as they defeated Shenandoah University, 69-56, in the first round game of the 2007 Optimist Classic at the Maggs Center.

Salisbury (2-4) dominated the game throughout and received offensive contributions from nine different players. The Sea Gull defense was solid as they caused 29 turnovers and made 14 steals as the Hornets shot 32 percent from the floor. SU's largest lead of the night was 23 midway through the second half as Shenandoah (1-3) made a late comeback but ran out of time.

SU junior guard Lindsay Martin led the way for the Gulls as she recorded a team-high 18 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals on no turnovers. Junior guard Monica Merkel (11 points) and sophomore forward Janay Johnson (10 points, seven rebounds) both scored in double figures.  Junior forward Marissa Manzo (nine points, nine rebounds) and sophomore forward Kylie Hall (nine points, 11 rebounds) both missed recording a double-double by one point as they combined for 18 points and 20 rebounds. 

The Sea Gulls dominated the glass as they outrebounded Shenandoah, 55-33, which resulted in 22 second chance points. The Sea Gull bench had a strong showing as it added 21 points. SU outscored Shenandoah in the paint, 34-16.     

The Hornets were led offensively by junior Whitney French who drained four three-pointers for a team-high 12 points. Shenandoah forward duo of Alexis Hargbol (10 points, seven rebounds) and Stephanie Harrold (11 points, eight rebounds) combined for 21 points and 15 rebounds. 

With the win the Sea Gulls advance to Saturday's championship game which will be held at 6 p.m. as the maroon and gold will face No. 5 Messiah College. The Hornets will face Allegheny College in the consolation round tomorrow at 1 p.m. in the Maggs Center. Messiah defeated Allegheny 71-57 in the other first round game on Friday.      

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