SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University women's basketball team kicked off its 2017 home campaign with an exciting 87-84 double-overtime victory over Capital Athletic Conference foe Frostburg State University on Sunday afternoon.
The Gulls (7-5, 3-2 CAC) dominated throughout the first three quarters until the Bobcats were able to make a late push in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime at 65-65. As the game made way for double overtime the Gulls showed resiliency down the stretch to close it out.
Salisbury got out to a 24-11 lead after the first quarter as it was able to push the pace and force the Bobcats (5-7, 3-2 CAC) to turn the ball over six times. They got out to an 8-2 lead after the Bobcats got the opening basket before Frostburg responded. However, the Gulls were able to hold off the visitors and use a 10-point run midway through the quarter to get out to their big lead.
The Bobcats closed the gap in the second as it outscored Salisbury 17-10 to bring the score to 34-28 at the break. Neither team scored until over two minutes into the second when Morgan Maturani was able to finish a Kaylyn French dish from in close.
French had a huge day for the Gulls with a career-high 17 points and 12 boards, her first double-double of the season.
From there the Bobcats went on a 5-0 run before Lauren Rothfeld was able to finish a tough jumper off a Mary McDonagh feed to make it 28-16. The visitors then went on to outscore Salisbury 12-6 the rest of the half to send the teams to the locker room.
Rothfeld ended the day as Salisbury's leading scorer with a career-high 26 points to go along with a double-double with 11 boards. McDonagh also had a good day as she led the team with seven assists.
Frostburg kept chipping away at Salisbury's lead in the third as each team's offense found a rhythm, with Frostburg getting 19 points and the Gulls 17 to bring the score to 51-47, with the Bobcats getting as close as a three-point gap late in the quarter.
The visiting side finally overcame the burden of Salisbury's big opening quarter as they ultimately forced overtime. With 3:28 to go, an Amanda Emory three-pointer tied the game up for the first time since it was 2-2 early in the first quarter. On their next possession, the game's leading scorer Victoria Diggs hit a pair from the charity stripe to give Frostburg the advantage.
Each side then traded buckets before a French layup following an offensive board tied the game with 21 seconds to close out the scoring for regulation.
The first overtime saw both sides knock down nine points as Frostburg closed out the scoring with 46 seconds left. As time was winding down, French had a tough look on a layup to win it but the game would see its second extra period.
Frostburg came out of the second overtime firing and got out to their biggest lead of the game at 80-76 with three and a half minutes to play.
Now it was the Gulls' turn to regain the lead.
French knocked down a pair from the line at 2:26 but Diggs responded with a three-pointer on their next possession before Rothfeld hit a three of her own to cut Frostburg's lead to 83-81 with just under two minutes to play.
After both teams failed to convert on their next possessions, Rothfeld hit two free throws to get the game tied at 83-83 with 54 seconds on the clock. The Rothfeld three would be the last field goal of the game as the free throws would be crucial in the final minute.
First Diggs hit one, before McDonagh got two for the Gulls to give them the lead back at 85-84. To close it out, both Rothfeld and Paige Bryce made clutch free throws and a late half-court heave from Diggs would come up short.
Bryce ended the day at the team's leading scorer off the bench, notching 13 as she showed her ability to beat the Bobcat defenders one-on-one in the low-post area.
The Gulls return to action on Wednesday, January 11 at home against CAC opponent Marymount (Va.) University. That game is set to tipoff at 5:30 p.m.