January 3, 2013

Strong second half pushes Salisbury past Alvernia, 63-55, in final day of Days Inn Tournament

GETTYSBURG, Pa. – Stellar second half play led the Salisbury University women's basketball team to its first win of 2013 defeating Alvernia University, 63-55, in the Days Inn Tournament consolation game on Thursday afternoon.

Salisbury (6-6) found itself tied with Alvernia after 11 minutes of play when sophomore point guard Maggie King made two three-point shots in a 40-second span to even the score at 15 apiece. SU would take its first lead since the 15:40 mark as sophomore point guard Anna Hackett made a jumper to put the Sea Gulls up by one, 19-18, against the Crusaders, with six minutes to play in the first half. Hackett scored a team-high 22 points.

The advantage, however, would not hold as Alvernia closed the first half on a run to take a 29-23 lead at the break.  

The Crusaders' (4-5) offense would be slowed as SU went on a three-minute scoring spree, scoring 10 unanswered points to tie the game 33-33 with 16 minutes to play in the final half. Junior forward Becca Himes hit a jumper to give the Sea Gulls the tie. Himes scored a career-best 13 points, going 5-for-11 from the floor and shooting 100 percent from the free throw line.

SU found itself tied for the last time at 37 points each as the Sea Gulls' tenacious defense kept the Crusaders off the board and the Gulls climbed to a 59-48 advantage with four minutes remaining in the contest and held on to the lead to claim the victory.

In the second half, Salisbury shot 51.6 percent, accumulated four blocks by the way of sophomore forward Aleisha Hobbs, and caused 11 Crusader turnovers. Hobbs had seven blocks on the day with 12 rebounds helping SU hold Alvernia to just 27.3 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes.

Salisbury took advantage of Crusader turnovers on the day, scoring 27 points off turnovers along with scoring 32 points in the paint while holding Alvernia to eight points off turnovers and 24 points in the paint.

Hackett was named to the All-Tournament team.

SU will continue on the road as it faces York (Pa.) College in a Capital Athletic Conference contest at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 9. The Sea Gulls will return home on Jan. 12 when they take on the University of Mary Washington.

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