UNION, N.J. – The Salisbury University women's basketball team lost to Wheaton (Mass.) College 63-51 in the consolation game of the Kean Classic on Saturday afternoon.
Both teams struggled on the offensive end early on. Wheaton (2-1) scored the first three points of the game before Salisbury (1-2) was able to get on the board with a Kaylyn French layup after missing its first six shots.
After the teams traded baskets midway through the first, the Lyons took a 10-4 lead on a three-pointer with four minutes remaining. The Lyons added two free throws to take their largest lead of the game at 12-4. Aprile Preller made two straight baskets to bring the game back within four, 12-8, which is how the first quarter ended. Both teams shot under 20 percent in the quarter.
The Lyons scored the next five points, but the Sea Gulls turned up the pressure on the defensive end. Amber Onyekwere had a steal on back-to-back possessions, the first of which she turned into a fast break layup to tie the game, 21-21. After trading baskets, Megan Konig knocked down two free throws to tie the game again, 25-25, heading into halftime.
Salisbury had five blocks in the first half to go along with six steals. The Sea Gulls had seven different players score in the first half, led by six points from Julien off the bench.
Wheaton got off to a 7-2 run to start the third quarter and eventually pushed the lead to 38-31 after making three three-pointers. An Onyekwere layup followed by another three-pointer from the Lyons pushed the lead to eight, but Julien knocked down a long three-pointer at the buzzer, the first of the game for the Sea Gulls, to make it 41-36 after three quarters.
Julien hit another three-pointer on Salisbury's first possession of the fourth quarter to bring the game within two, 41-39. After two baskets from Wheaton, Jessie Iacobellis connected on a three-pointer and scored on a layup following a steal to cut Wheaton's lead to 45-44. Following two straight layups from the Lyons, Julien converted on a short jumper to make it 49-46 midway through the fourth.
Salisbury was unable to get any closer, as the Lyons continued to stretch their lead and converted on their free throws in the final minutes. Wheaton outscored Salisbury 14-5 the rest of the way to hand the Sea Gulls the loss.
Julien was the only Sea Gull in double figures with a career-high 16 points. Onyekwere was named to the All-Tournament Team after posting seven points, six steals, four rebounds, and four assists.
Salisbury returns to action on Tuesday, November 21 at 7 p.m., as the team travels to take on Stevenson University.