SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's basketball team opened its 2017-18 season campaign on Wednesday night, defeating the visiting Washington College Shoremen 94-62. Chad Barcikowski totaled 19 points and five rebounds to lead the Sea Gulls.
Barcikowski got the season off to a flying start, scoring less than 20 seconds in to give the Gulls a 2-0 lead. Barcikowski made a great move to the net with a finger roll finish at the hoop for the early lead. Five straight points from Jordan Brooks helped the maroon and gold open the game on a 9-0 scoring run.
The Salisbury (1-0) defense looked unbreakable in the early stages of the first half, holding Washington College (0-1) scoreless and forcing two turnovers in the opening three minutes.
A Barcikowski jumper helped extend the maroon and gold advantage to 11-4 with just over 15 minutes left to play in the opening half. Barcikowski pushed the lead to 11, 19-8, just minutes later with his first three-pointer of the season.
With just over 11 minutes left to play before the break, Al Leder knocked down Salisbury's third three-pointer of the half to put the Gulls up 21-10, tying their largest lead of the game.
The Shoremen closed the gap behind a 5-0 scoring run of their own at the midway point of the half, but Barcikowski broke the near four-minute long scoring drought for the Gulls with his fourth basket of the night. He stretched the advantage to six, 25-19, just moments later off a great individual effort, driving through two defenders and finishing strong at the rim.
Johnson Ogunyoye and Leder were able to turn defense into offense with 4:02 left to play in the first half. Ogunyoye recorded a block right at the basket and grabbed the rebound, starting the transition for the maroon and gold with Leder knocking down his second three-pointer of the contest to push the lead to its largest of the game, 35-19.
The Sea Gulls once again turned defense into offense with just under two minutes left to play in the half behind two freshman players. Johnny Fierstein grabbed a contested defensive rebound and pushed it up court before threading a pass to a cutting Gary Briddell for a 39-23 lead.
At the break Salisbury held a 39-29 advantage behind Barcikowski's team-high 13 points. The Sea Gulls pulled down 23 rebounds to Washington's 19, while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and committing only six turnovers.
The maroon and gold pushed their lead to 15 to open the second half behind a great individual effort by Brooks, who went coast to coast, capped off by a finger roll finish off the glass. He continued to make his presence felt on the court, knocking down his second three-pointer of the game to build Salisbury's lead to its largest of the contest at 52-33.
James Foley put together a 5-0 scoring run of his own to help the Sea Gulls build a 24 point lead five and a half minutes into the second half. Foley knocked down a jumper followed by his first three of the evening to build the Salisbury lead to 57-33.
Salisbury knocked down three three-pointers in five trips in-between the 12 and nine minute mark. Leder and Braedon Dorsey knocked down back-to-back three-pointers to make it a 67-36 game with just a little over 10 minutes left to play. Brooks added to the three-point barrage during the 12-7 scoring run, pushing the score line to 72-44.
Jack Ferguson and Bryce Thurston added an exclamation point to the season opening victory, knocking down their only three-pointer and shot attempts of the evening to push the lead to 90-60 with less than two minutes left to play.
Barcikowski finished the game as Salisbury's leading scorer, totaling 19 points and going 8-20 from the field. Brooks, Leder, and Foley also posted double-digit scoring efforts, netting 17, 12 and 11 points respectively. Both Davis and Leder finished the night with three assists, while Ogunyoye led the way on the defensive side with 11 rebounds and four blocks.
As a team the Sea Gulls finished the contest with 51 rebounds, 16 assists, and a shooting percentage of 47.9 percent, going 34-71 from the field.
Salisbury will return to action on Saturday, November 18 when it travels to Goucher College. Tip-off is slated for 4 p.m.