LAS VEGAS – The No. 5 Salisbury University men's basketball team finished play in the 7th Annual D3hoops.com Classic on Thursday night, falling to Hardin-Simmons University, 84-70.
It was two buckets from senior Gordon Jeter and one each from classmate Wyatt Smith and junior Chad Barcikowski that led to a quick 8-3 lead for the Sea Gulls (8-2) and Salisbury held that advantage through the opening 10 minutes of the contest.
The Salisbury lead grew to as many as nine points on one of four first-half three-pointers by Barcikowski. Salisbury was good on 6-of-13 from outside in the first half and hit just under 50 percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes.
Hardin-Simmons (8-4) chipped away at the Salisbury lead and drew even at the midway point of the half, tying the game at 22-22 on a Justin Jones layup. Jones scored 14 points in the game as all five Cowboy starters finished in double figures.
After a brief lead for Hardin-Simmons, Salisbury took the lead back on another Barcikowski triple and the edge jumped back to seven points, 40-33 with 3:30 left in the period, thanks to baskets from Smith and Terray Quickley and a three-pointer by freshman Al Leder.
After the Cowboys tied the contest with a minute and a half left in the opening half, with a Jeter basket and another Barcikowski three allowed Salisbury to hold a 45-43 lead at the break.
With Salisbury struggling in the first five minutes of second half, the Cowboys opened up their largest lead of the game to that point, 55-47, with 15 minutes left in the contest, but Salisbury got a big three-pointer from Barry Bratten at the top of the key, off a Braedon Dorsey assist, to cut the edge to 55-50.
Hardin-Simmons maintained its edge until a 7-0 run by the Sea Gulls, sparked by a Barcikowski three from just in front of the Salisbury bench. The run, which included a three from Dorsey on the left wing, cut the deficit to two points, 61-59, with just under nine minutes left.
The Cowboys scored the next 12 points to push their lead to double figures with seven minutes left and the lead would not drop under eight the rest of the way.
Barcikowski led the way for Salisbury with a game-high 19 points, including 5-of-9 shooting from outside, while notching three steals. Jeter scored a dozen and had four steals while grabbing six rebounds and Bratten scored 10 off the bench.
The Sea Gulls will be off until the New Year, when they travel to Washington (Md.) College on Monday, January 2. That contest between Eastern Shore teams will tipoff at 6 p.m.