SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's basketball team opened the 2018-19 season with an 85-79 win against visiting Arcadia University in Maggs Physical Activities Center on Saturday night, giving Interim Head Coach Brian McDermott his first career victory.
A battle to open the year, neither team was able to stretch a lead to more than five points in the first half, and the largest margin of the night came less than four minutes into the second half when the Knights (0-1) led by eight points.
The first 20 minutes featured eight lead changes and the contest was tied seven times, including a 35-35 score that the break, after Arcadia closed the half on a 7-2 run.
After a three-pointer by senior Chase Kumor to open the second half, Arcadia put together a 14-3 run to take the eight-point lead, 49-41, but the Sea Gulls (1-0) stormed back. Another three-pointer, this time by Lucas Martin sparked a 14-6 run to draw even at 55-55.
The game-tying bucket came when senior Blair Davis saw an opening on the right side and drove in for a contested layup high off the glass, scoring two of his team-high 14 points.
Arcadia held its final lead of the night moments later, but Salisbury got hot from outside to take control in the waning minutes.
With the game knotted at 59-59, Davis drove the lane and kicked to an open Mike Ward on the left wing for three and a 62-59 lead, which Salisbury would not relinquish.
After a Marquis Roberson steal, Johnny Fierstein drove and kicked to an open Davis in the right corner and his three opened up Salisbury's largest lead of the night, 65-59, with 8:32 left in the game.
The Sea Gulls hit just over 43 percent of their tries from three-point land, with Davis hitting three and Fierstein, Kumor, Roberson, and Gary Briddell each hitting twice from beyond the arc.
The Salisbury lead was cut to one point twice the rest of the way, but the Sea Gulls held on, making their final five free throws, to seal the opening night win.
Davis was one of six Sea Gulls to score at least nine points with Ward and Fierstein finishing with a dozen, Martin getting 11, and Roberson scoring 10.
The Sea Gulls are back in action next Friday, November 16 as they host the first night of the Salisbury Optimist International Tournament. The Sea Gulls will take on Lancaster Bible beginning at 7:30 p.m., in the second game of the night, after Johns Hopkins University and DeSales University tangle at 5:30 p.m.