ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. – The No. 24 Salisbury University women's basketball team kept its record unblemished Wednesday night, holding off Capital Athletic Conference opponent St. Mary's College of Maryland, 69-58, to remain the only undefeated team in the conference.
The Seahawks found the scoreboard first on a layup, but an 8-0 run by the Sea Gulls put them out front rather quickly in the opening two minutes, a lead they wouldn't surrender. Two good free throws by junior Kathy Albornoz brought the score even, before Albornoz came up with a steal on the next St. Mary's series, which was capped off by a Sarah Seipp three-pointer. Seipp would secure her first steal of the game before the Seahawks could get the ball to midcourt, and ran it all the way back for an easy layup prompting a St. Mary's timeout. Coming out of the timeout, Seipp turned a foul into a good free throw to give the Gulls an 8-2 lead.
The Sea Gulls (6-0, 1-0 CAC) would continue to push the lead, eventually getting it to double digits off another Seipp three-pointer at the 15:34 mark of the first half. Trading baskets for the next three minutes, SU hit another 8-0 run with 13 minutes remaining, started by an Anna Hackett layup, pushing the score to 26-10. Senior Melanie Mocniak hit two free throws in the run, while senior Courtney McManus put in her first points of the contest from behind the arc and Albornoz cashed in two from inside the paint.
St. Mary's (0-4, 0-1 CAC) chipped away at the Sea Gull lead before the break, getting within eight points with two minutes remaining, but SU would close out the half with nine unanswered points, capped off with a steal by Hackett and a finish by sophomore Lauren Rothfeld at the other end as the clock ran out, taking a 17-point lead into the second half.
Through the first half, the Sea Gulls shot 50 percent from the field, while the Seahawks shot 35.5 percent. Seipp led SU with nine points and four rebounds, while Hackett and Albornoz chipped in eight apiece.
Opening up the second half scoring the first five points, Salisbury extended its lead to 22, the largest for the game, off Seipp's third three-pointer of the game and an Albornoz layup. But the Seahawks wouldn't give up, taking the next 12 minutes to get the deficit back to single digits, 56-47.
In the final six minutes of the contest, the Gulls pushed the offense getting it started with four free throws, two by Hackett and two by Seipp, but St. Mary's answered back with two of its own.
Trading free throws into the final two minutes of play, the Seahawks went on one final run to try and close the gap. Getting within nine with 37 seconds remaining, Albornoz shutdown the 6-0 run by St. Mary's and capped off the Gulls' sixth victory of the season with a layup on the other end.
The Seahawks turned the ball over 19 times, leading to 31 Salisbury points, while the Gulls only turned the ball over 12 times and gave up nine points off of them.
Seipp led SU with her third double-double of the season on 18 points and 12 rebounds. Albornoz chipped in 14 points, while Hackett added 12 of her own and six assists. Hackett now only needs 11 assists to move up to No. 4 on the all-time list in program history.
The Gulls travel back home for their next contest, as Salisbury welcomes Penn State University-Harrisburg to Maggs Physical Activities Center. Tip off is set for 2 p.m.