November 30, 2012

Sea Gulls advance to Optimist Tournament championship game after downing Valley Forge, 92-70

SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University women's basketball team put together its highest scoring game since 2008 with a 92-70 win over Valley Forge Christian College on Friday night to advance to the Optimist Tournament championship game at 3 p.m., on Saturday.

Salisbury (2-3) opened the Optimist Tournament with a nine-point run against Valley Forge and found itself up 26-15 with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.

Sophomore point guard Maggie King gave the Sea Gulls their largest lead of the half, at 21, putting in a jumper from junior guard Kelsey Verica. King was 5-for-8 throughout the night and perfect from the free-throw line with five assists and 14 points.

Valley Forge (4-3) would stall SU after King put the maroon and gold up, 36-15, as the Patriots went on a seven-point streak of their own, closing the scoring margin to 36-22, before sophomore point guard Anna Hackett laid in two and then sunk two from the free-throw line.

Salisbury would enter halftime with a healthy 49-33 edge over Valley Forge after senior forward Katie McGahagan put in a three-point buzzer beater to end the half.

The second half was more of the same as the Sea Gulls' quick passing and sharp shooting from the field took them to a 36-point advantage over the Patriots as McGahagan picked off Amanda Reich and then ran the court and netted two. McGahagan went 6-for-12 on the night, for 15 points, and 11 rebounds.

As a team Salisbury shot a season-best 56.5 percent from the floor and was 6-for-10 from behind the arc. The Sea Gulls were perfect behind the three-point line in the second half. For the contest, Salisbury caused 22 Patriot turnovers, resulting in 36 points. The Sea Gulls' bench outscored the Patriots' bench, 23-4.

Hackett was 10-for-13 with a team-high 26 points, five assists and four steals.

Valley Forge saw 62 points come from Reich (27 points), Morgan Godwin (15 points) and Aliyah Carr (20 points).

Salisbury will compete in the championship contest at 3 p.m., on Saturday, against Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, which defeated Lehman College, 78-71. Lehman will face Valley Forge at 1 p.m., in the consolation game.

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