CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – The trip to DeSales University for the Morgan Stanley Tip-Off Tournament was a successful one, as the Salisbury University women's basketball team defeated the Bulldogs, 72-61, on Sunday afternoon to win the championship.
The game started off quick in favor of the Sea Gulls (2-0), winning the opening tip and getting a right-corner jumper by senior guard Anna Hackett. The SU defense came out strong as well, causing two turnovers on the first two Bulldog chances, including a steal by senior guard Sarah Seipp.
The defense continued that pressure through the opening five minutes, forcing five turnovers, collecting six points, and forcing a DeSales' timeout with an 8-2 lead.
Salisbury began to spread the score open, following a three pointer by senior guard Courtney McManus, which drew another Bulldog timeout with 12 minutes remaining in the first half and a 15-8 score. After the timeout and two free throws by DeSales, the Sea Gulls would go on a 15-4 run through six minutes of play to extend the lead to 30-14.
The Bulldogs (1-1) would crawl back into the game before half, as the Gulls took a 34-24 lead into the break. McManus and Hackett paced SU with nine points apiece, while McManus also added six rebounds.
Entering the second 20 minutes, DeSales made the game interesting opening on a 9-2 run to draw within one point of the Gulls, but a jumper by sophomore guard Lauren Rothfeld brought the run to an end.
The Bulldogs took their first lead of the game with 11 minutes remaining on a two-point finish by Leandra Sterner. Salisbury and DeSales would trade the lead four times until there was five minutes left in the game when the Gulls took the lead for the final time and never looked back.
In the closing minutes, SU forced five turnovers putting on the full-court pressure until the game was sealed up.
Seipp recorded a game-high 21 points and a team-high 11 rebounds through 36 minutes of play,earning her the tournament's Most Valuable Player award. Hackett was placed on the all-tournament team after finishing the game with 17 points and three assists. McManus went 3-for-5 from behind the arc, chipping in 14 points for the game, while pulling down eight boards.
The women will end their three-game road series on Wednesday, November 19, at Catholic University of America, as Salisbury is set to tip off against the Cardinals at 6 p.m., in the DuFour Center. Catholic started its season with a 57-46 victory over Messiah College on Saturday.