February 21, 2013

McGahagan scores 18 as Gulls battle to 61-46 loss at Marymount in CAC semifinals

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Salisbury University women's basketball team gave top-seeded Marymount (Va.) University all it could handle in the semifinal round of the Capital Athletic Conference tournament on Thursday night. The fourth-seeded Sea Gulls grabbed the early lead, and held the edge at halftime before falling 61-46.

The first six minutes of the contest belonged to the Sea Gulls (15-12). Salisbury scored the first four points with a tip-in by senior Katie McGahagan and a put back by freshman Julia McLaughlin. The two rebounds were part of 10 offensive rebounds in the first half, as the Sea Gulls came up with 10 second-chance points in the first 20 minutes of play.

After a free throw by Tynisha Parks made it 4-1, just over two minutes into the game, the Gulls went on a 13-2 run over the next four minutes.

McGahagan started the spurt with a tip-in and scored eight of the Sea Gulls' first 17 points in the game. Sophomore Courtney McManus put home the final seven points of the run, with a three-pointer off an Anna Hackett assist, as Salisbury led 17-3 with 13:51 left in the opening half.

The Sea Gull lead remained double figures until Katelyn Fischer's three-pointer with 7:57 left before halftime cut the Salisbury lead to 22-13.

A McGahagan jumper and a Hackett free throw pushed the edge back to a dozen, 25-13, with 4:20 left in the half, but the Saints (22-4) would close on a 12-2 run to get within two, 27-25, at the break.

McGahagan scored 12 points in the first half and pulled down seven rebounds, six of which were on the offensive end. McManus scored eight points before the break.

Marymount's run continued in the second half as Aileen Maknati's three-pointer, 31 seconds into the second period, gave the Saints their first lead of the night.

A pair of free throws by McGahagan allowed Salisbury to retake the lead, 29-28, but an 8-0 Marymount run would give the Saints control. McLaughlin's layup and free throw a moment later, with 11:14 left in the game, pulled the Gulls within five, but it was as close as Salisbury would get the rest of the way.

McGahagan led the way with 18 points and nine rebounds while McLaughlin added 11 points and pulled down six boards. McManus also had four steals and six rebounds as Salisbury outrebounded Marymount, 34-27.

Maknati led four Saints in double figures with 19 points while Fischer had 13 and six assists.

The loss brings to an end the career of Salisbury's lone senior, McGahagan, who finishes four years in the program with 814 career points and 727 rebounds having played in 101 games.

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