SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's basketball team remained perfect on the 2018-19 season, earning a 78-69 win against No. 15 Johns Hopkins University in the championship game of the Salisbury Optimist International Tournament on Saturday afternoon.
The early moments of the game remained close, before Salisbury (3-0) was able to put some distance between itself and Johns Hopkins (2-2). J.P. Krotulis started a 9-2 run with a layup off a feed from James Foley.
Johnny Fierstein found Gary Briddell in the right corner for a good look at a three-pointer, which he knocked down with nine minutes left on the clock in the first half, giving Salisbury a 21-12 lead. The nine-point edge was the largest for either team in the opening half.
The Blue Jays answered, scoring the next 11 points, including hitting three times from beyond the arc. The spurt allowed Johns Hopkins to take a two-point lead before Briddell hit again, this time from the left corner to make it 24-23 for the home team. Another quick Briddell bucket made it a 26-23 lead, prompting a Blue Jay timeout.
Salisbury protected its lead, taking a 31-30 advantage into halftime with Briddell providing 13 points in the opening period.
Salisbury again stretched its lead early in the second half, Foley carried the load, hitting a three-pointer and a layup as the Sea Gull advantage pushed to 10 points, 50-40.
The Blue Jays drew even again, 52-52, with 9:38 left on the clock when Tom Quarry hit a three-pointer in left corner.
A pass threaded into Lucas Martin for a layup moments later by Davis gave the Sea Gulls the lead back and the game remained within five points until the closing minutes, with two ties and two lead changes.
Davis gave Salisbury the lead for good with his runner down the right side, sending a shot high off the glass.
The lead stretched out when Briddell buried a three in the corner, in front of the Salisbury bench, a moment later. Fierstein helped close out the win, scoring 11 points in the final two minutes of the game.
Foley and Briddell each scored 20 in the victory while Martin added 10. Davis had five assists to go with two steals as Salisbury scored 26 points off turnovers.
The Sea Gulls return to action on Tuesday, November 20, hitting the road for the first time this season, traveling to Virginia Wesleyan University. The game is set to begin at 7:30 p.m.