BUENA VISTA, Va. – The No. 15 Salisbury University men's basketball team is off to its best start in program history, earning its seventh-straight win to open the 2016-17 season, 88-64 at Southern Virginia University on Saturday.
The Sea Gulls (7-0, 3-0 Capital Athletic Conference) jumped out to an early lead in the game, led by senior Wyatt Smith and junior Chad Barcikowski, and never looked back. Smith and Barcikowski each scored 18 points to lead Salisbury to the win.
It was an 11-2 run to open the game, led by four points from senior Gordon Jeter and three-pointers from Barcikowski and freshman Al Leder that got the contest started. The advantage hit double figures on a Jeter three-point play with just over six minutes gone in the contest, for a 16-4 lead. Jeter scored eight points in the victory to go with seven rebounds.
The Knights (2-6, 0-4 CAC) could not get their deficit back to single digits again, as Jeter's play was part of a 14-4 Salisbury run which pushed the lead to 21 points. Smith scored six points during the run and had a dozen at the break, matching Barcikowski's first-half output with the Sea Gulls holding a 40-20 lead at halftime.
Barcikowski hit 4-of-5 three-pointers in the first period, while Smith was good on five of his eight tries from the floor and pulled down seven rebounds.
The Knights never threatened in the second half, getting the Salisbury lead down to just 17 in the closing 20 minutes, with the 41-24 lead for the Sea Gulls coming with 19 minutes left in the contest.
Salisbury got back-to-back three-pointers from senior Justin Witmer and Barcikowski to push the lead back to 21 and it grew to 28 – the largest lead of the afternoon – with 11:45 to play when senior Adrien Straughn buried a three.
The Sea Gulls hit 50 percent from outside in the game, with Barcikowski making 6-of-7 from beyond the arc, while eight different players connect on three-pointers in the game. When freshman Alex McNaughton made his triple, with 39 seconds showing on the clock, it marked the final points of the night for the Sea Gulls and McNaughton's first points of his career.
The Sea Gulls return to action next Saturday, December 17, hosting No. 6 Christopher Newport University at Maggs Physical Activities Center. No admission will be charged for the doubleheader with the women's team, which begins at 2 p.m.