FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – The Salisbury University women's basketball team traveled to undefeated No. 11 University of Mary Washington in Capital Athletic Conference play and fell 59-44 on Thursday night.
The Eagles (12-0, 5-0 CAC) got out to a 4-0 lead before Kaylyn French was able to bank one home from just beyond the free throw line to get the Gulls (7-5, 3-2 CAC) on the board. The home team came right down and scored but on the ensuing possession French grabbed an offensive board then laid one in to make it 6-4. From there the Eagles turned the ball over on four consecutive possessions before a deep three put them up 9-4 with just over three minutes to play in the opening quarter.
Kelsie Bacon responded with a pair of free throws, but the Eagles answered immediately with a three-point play to make it 12-6. From there Mary Washington outscored the Gulls 4-3 the rest of the quarter as Lauren Rothfeld was able to hit a step-back three for the Gulls.
Down 16-9 at the start of the second quarter, the Gulls had some early momentum following a Mary Washington three pointer, going on an 8-0 run. First, French hit a pair from the charity stripe before Mary McDonagh hit three-pointers on consecutive possessions to make the score 19-17. However as the Gulls had their run, Mary Washington responded with a 15-0 run of its own. The run was broken by a McDonagh free throw with around a minute left before Rothfeld went for a deep jumper with just 30 seconds to go in the second quarter to close out the scoring for the half with the home team up, 34-20.
Salisbury opened the second half on an 8-2 run that was highlighted by a drive to the basket by Morgan Grubb where she was able to split two defenders and finish a layup with pressure to bring the score to 36-26 before Morgan Maturani hit a mid-range jumper with 2:30 to play. The Eagles did not get their second field goal of the third quarter until the one minute mark as they hit from three to make the score 39-28. With seconds winding down in the quarter, McDonagh let go a right-handed hook shot from the paint at the buzzer to bring Salisbury within single digits at 39-30.
Salisbury held the Eagles to just five points in the third quarter, a season best for the Salisbury defense in a quarter.
The Eagles started strong with four in a row to start the last quarter but Rothfeld hit her second three of the game to stop the quick start. However, just as Rothfeld knocked her shot down, the Eagles stormed down the court and got a layup then a three-pointer to make the score 48-33. Rothfeld once again played run stopper with a deep two following a Sea Gull timeout but the Eagles' Kendall Parker came back down and hit her fifth three of the game to extend their lead to 51-35.
Salisbury outscored Mary Washington 9-8 the rest of the way but it would not be enough to take down the nationally-ranked Eagles.
Salisbury had three players reach double digit scoring in Rothfeld (14), McDonagh (12), and French (10). French was a rebound away from the double-double with nine to lead the squad, while Rothfeld had seven boards.
The Gulls next play on Saturday, January 7 at home against Frostburg State University. That game is slated for 1 p.m.