Late run by Gulls seals up victory in regular-season finale

Late run by Gulls seals up victory in regular-season finale

YORK, Pa. – A late 14-0 run in the closing minutes lifted the No. 15 Salisbury University women's basketball team past York College of Pennsylvania, 75-69, in a classic Capital Athletic Conference matchup to end the regular season. 

In a game that saw 21 lead changes, the Sea Gulls (23-2, 17-1 CAC) made the final lead change in the largest run of the game in the closing four minutes. Trailing by six, 66-60, Salisbury lit a fire that couldn't be controlled by the Spartans(11-14, 7-11 CAC), as sophomore Lauren Rothfeld dropped in a three-pointer to kick off the 14-point run. 

With shutdown defense on the other end of the court, the Gulls continued the offensive pace with senior Anna Hackett cashing in on a three-pointer of her own, a part of her team-high 18 points for the game, all of which were recorded in the second half. 

With the score bound at 66-66, senior Melanie Mocniak helped SU reclaim the lead that it wouldn't surrender through the final 1:30 left in the game. Collecting the ball on the left side, Mocniak drove the baseline into the midst of the defense, pulled up for the layup, drawing the foul and finishing the three-point play at the charity stripe. 

The remainder of the 14-0 run was cashed in at the free-throw line, as Hackett dropped in four points and senior Sarah Seipp added one to push the score to 74-66, a stretch York couldn't overcome. Rothfeld capped off the scoring, following a three-pointer by the Spartans with 23 seconds left, hitting one free throw to seal up the victory. 

The first half saw 12 lead changes and two ties, as the largest lead by the two squads was a four-point advantage in favor of the Sea Gulls with four minutes left until the half. Following a three-point attempt by Seipp, senior Aleisha Hobbs ripped down the offensive board and went back up for the strong finish and the 28-24 lead. 

Trailing at the half by two, 34-32, Salisbury shot 37.1 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from behind the arc, as Seipp paced the offense with 10 points, including two three-pointers.

Both teams picked up right where the first half ended in the final 20 minutes, keeping the game within striking distance for either squad up to the last minute. Hackett started her scoring for the game up right off the restart, connecting on a jumper at the top of the key to draw the score even, 34-34, 20 seconds in. 

Hackett paced the Sea Gulls with 18 points for the game, while Seipp added 14 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Senior Courtney McManus and Hackett guided the defensive end with a game-high three steals apiece, as Salisbury forced 12 for the game, a part of York's 19 turnovers total. 

The Sea Gulls now head into postseason play with sights on a conference championship. Receiving a first-round bye, top-seeded Salisbury will await the winner of a first-round matchup between the No. 4 and 5 seed on Thursday, February 26 in Maggs Physical Activities Center. Be sure to check out for start time and other information on postseason play as it becomes available. 

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