February 13, 2013

Salisbury stuns No. 7 St. Mary’s in overtime, 72-71

SALISBURY, Md. – Senior Elijah Gore hit two free throws with 7.1 seconds remaining in overtime and classmate Travon Vann blocked Kyle Wise's layup on the other end as the Salisbury University men's basketball team held on to stun No. 7 St. Mary's (Md.) College, 72-71, at the Maggs Physical Activities Center on Wednesday.

(Click here to see Vann knock away St. Mary's inbound pass to seal the win.)

Salisbury (17-7, 8-3 CAC) took its first lead of overtime on a Vann offensive rebound and putback to make it 70-69 with 1:17 remaining before Donn Hill knocked down 1-of-2 from the line for St. Mary's to knot the game with 54 seconds left. Gore missed a three-pointer on the next possession and Chris Viqueira fouled James Davenport, who made a free throw to give St. Mary's (21-3, 9-2) its final edge of the night. With Gore slashing to the basket, Jeff Haus initiated contact, setting up the game-winning free throws.

The win for the Sea Gulls, in their second consecutive overtime game, marked the first against the Seahawks since Feb. 9, 2011, a 61-58 victory in Salisbury.

Junior Tim Harwood led three Gulls in double figures with a game-high 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting, including 4-of-9 from three-point range. He added three rebounds, three steals and two assists. Vann recorded 16 points, a game-best nine rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks, while Gore chipped in with 13 points and two steals.

SU held a 31-30 lead at halftime, but St. Mary's opened the second half on a 12-0 run, taking a 42-31 lead with 16:23 left when Haus converted a layup from Devin Spencer, prompting a timeout. Salisbury erased a 55-41 Seahawk advantage with less than 11 minutes to play, using a 21-8 run over 9:29 to tie the game at 63-63 with 1:14 left in regulation.

Five players scored in the run that saw SU climb back into the game. Gore led the way with 11 points in the stretch, including three three-pointers.

The Gulls hung around in the first half, never trailing by more than 10 points. Down, 29-19, with six minutes left in the opening 20, Viqueira made a layup sandwiched by two Harwood threes to bring SU within 29-27 with 4:14 left. The spurt forced a St. Mary's timeout, prior to four free throws from Conor Strickland and Jacoy Gillum, which gave SU its first lead of the night going into the break.

St. Mary's shot 55.6 percent for the game (25-for-45) and outrebounded Salisbury, 31-29, in the loss. The Seahawks received 15 points from Hill, 14 points from Spencer and 13 points and 10 assists from Nick LaGuerre.

Salisbury outscored the Seahawks' bench, 32-16, and got 10 more points on second-chance opportunities (12-2).

Prior to the game, Salisbury's five seniors – Gore, Vann, Trent Epps, Dylan Robeson and Craig Ryan – were honored as a part of a Senior Day ceremony.

Salisbury closes the regular season on Saturday at No. 25 Wesley College at 4 p.m. The Sea Gulls have secured no worse than the third seed in next week's CAC tournament, and could move up to No. 2 with a win at Wesley and a few other pieces falling into place.

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