FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – The No. 15 Salisbury University men's basketball team remained perfect in Capital Athletic Conference play, earning a 78-70 victory at the University of Mary Washington on Thursday night.
After the Eagles (6-6, 2-3 CAC) began the game on a 11-4 run, Salisbury (10-2, 5-0 CAC) got things going, with defense leading the way. Senior Gordon Jeter had a pair of steals that turned into four quick points as part of a 9-5 run, which cut the deficit to 16-13, and another Jeter steal and a long pass to classmate Wyatt Smith was good for a three-point play, tying the game at 16-16 with just under 12 minutes to play.
Jeter had five steals in the game to go with 11 points and seven rebounds while Smith finished with 10 points.
The teams went cold over the next three minutes, combining to miss the next five tries from the floor until senior Justin Witmer knocked down a three-pointer at the top of the key off a feed from junior Barry Bratten for the first Salisbury lead of the night, 19-16.
The Sea Gulls made field goals on four-straight possessions to put together a 9-2 with freshman Al Leder making a big impact late in the half, getting a layup, a three-pointer and then a steal to set up Jeter for a layup and a 33-23 lead, prompting Mary Washington timeout with 3:25 left.
Leder scored 13 of his career-high 18 points on the night in the first half, shooting 5-of-10 from the floor in the opening 20 minutes.
The Eagles countered with a run of their own, scoring nine-straight to cut the lead to 33-32, but Leder buried a triple from in front of the Mary Washington bench before an Eagle bucket to end the half with Salisbury ahead, 36-34.
Salisbury got early buckets from Smith and Bratten before the Eagles cut the lead to one point five minutes into the second half.
Bratten hit a layup, while taking contact, with 14:44 left on the clock. He missed the free throw, but was able to grab the offensive rebound and Leder drained a three from the left wing to push the lead to 47-41.
The Eagles tied the game for the first time in the second half on an Alexander Brayboy dunk at the midway point of the period, but at the other end, just 12 seconds later, Witmer drove the left baseline and hit a reverse layup and got fouled, converting the three-point play to retake the lead.
On the next two possessions, a Chad Barcikowski layup down the left wing and Bratten's three-ppinter from the top of the key pushed the lead back to seven points, 58-51.
Another Witmer bucket and a free throw from Barcikowski got the Sea Gull lead to double figures, 61-51, with 7:26 left in the contest.
The lead dipped to six points with less than two minutes to play, but the Eagles got no closer.
The Sea Gulls return home for the first time in three weeks this Saturday, January 7, hosting Frostburg State University at Maggs Physical Activities Center in a CAC contest slated to begin at 3 p.m.