SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University women's basketball team scored early and often to earn a 97-48 win on Wednesday night against visiting Wesley College at Maggs Physical Activities Center.
The win marked the most points scored and the largest margin of victory by the program since claiming a 101-50 victory against Southern Virginia University on January 16, 2016.
Senior Lauren Rothfeld buried a jumper from the left wing, with her toe on the line, for an early two points, and it was the start of a 13-4 run by the Sea Gulls to start things off. Rothfeld scored four of the early points, with a jumper from the right wing, and Kelsie Bacon hit a jumper from the right corner from 18 feet.
The Sea Gulls (9-7, 5-4 CAC) got their first inside bucket from Paige Bryce in transition, and Bryce hit from the free throw line to make it 10-4.
After the Sea Gulls took the 13-4 lead, the Wolverines (6-10, 2-7 CAC) cut the Salisbury advantage to six points, 15-9, but the Gulls converted from outside again. Rothfeld drove to the left elbow and kicked out to junior Mary McDonagh on the left wing, and the three-pointer hit nothing but net.
Salisbury got out in transition off turnovers and missed shots by the Wolverines in the first quarter, scoring six points in transition to take a 23-11 lead at the end of the first 10 minutes. McDonagh capped the Sea Gull scoring in the frame, with a three in transition.
McDonagh hit twice from outside as Salisbury was good on 6-of-13 (46.2 percent) from outside.
The Wolverines scored four quick points to begin the second quarter, but freshman Ashlyn Smith hit a layup off a Bacon assist to end the early spurt from Wesley.
Defensively Salisbury took out the Wolverines' top scorer, Brionna Johnson, who entered the night averaging 13.9 points per game. Johnson scored her first point with 7:30 left in the opening half on a free throw, missing her first five field goal tries of the day and finished 1-of-10 from the floor with just four points.
The Sea Gulls held their lead near 10 points until the midway point of the second quarter when Bryce hit again in transition and Rothfeld connected from outside to make it 31-17 with 4:52 showing on the clock.
The lead hit 20 points when Rothfeld hit from the right wing on a cross-court feed from Smith with just over two minutes in the half and Salisbury took a 44-22 lead into the break.
Rothfeld scored 17 points in the first half and led all scorers in the game with 23 to go with 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals; it marked her fourth double-double of the year and third in the last four games.
The Sea Gulls picked up in the second half where they left off in the first, scoring the first four points, thanks to buckets from Bryce and Bacon.
Early in the third quarter, Smith had a nice move on the right side for a layup, and her ninth point of the game, which surpassed her career high in points. She finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds in the game for her first career double-double.
Salisbury extended its lead past 30 points when Rothfeld connected on a three-pointer in front of the Sea Gull bench off a kick out from Bryce for a 59-28 lead. The score gave Rothfeld 20 points on the night and was one of three assists for Bryce in the game.
Salisbury moved the ball well all night, finishing with a season-high-tying 24 assists in the game. Salisbury made 37 made field goals in the contest, notching assists on 65 percent of the makes.
The Sea Gulls took a 70-30 lead into the fourth quarter after Rothfeld connected on another three with 30 seconds to play in the third period.
In the final frame Salisbury built the lead to the 49 points the game would be decided by with a 12-2 run to close out the contest, getting scores from freshmen Dalina Julien, Jessie Iacobellis, and Blake Bukowski who all scored career-high point totals in the game.
Salisbury hits the road for its next two games, traveling to Marymount (Va.) University on Saturday, January 21 and at Christopher Newport University next Wednesday before returning home to host the University of Mary Washington on Saturday, January 28.