Sea Gulls defeat Spartans in first round of 2011 CAC tournament; will play at Wesley on Thursday

Sea Gulls defeat Spartans in first round of 2011 CAC tournament; will play at Wesley on Thursday

YORK, Pa. – Just three days after falling to York (Pa.) College in the regular season finale, the sixth-seeded Salisbury University men's basketball team responded with a 77-64 victory over the third-seeded Spartans Tuesday night in first-round action of the 2011 CAC tournament.

The last time the two teams met in the CAC tournament was in 2008, when the eighth-seeded Sea Gulls defeated the top seed Spartans, 76-71, in one of the biggest shockers in CAC tournament history.

After a quick basket by the Spartans (17-9) to start the contest, the Sea Gull offense went to work as SU led 10-4 at the 15:28 mark following a layup by senior guard Eric Johnson. The maroon and gold would not relinquish the lead as the first half played out, extending the advantage to as high as 12 with 4:11 remaining in the half. Junior Jason Nwosu closed out the half with a spark, as the forward grabbed an offensive rebound and successfully converted the follow-up layup with two seconds remaining to give Salisbury a 37-29 lead at the break.

The Sea Gulls (12-14) came out of the locker room building off that spark, as the team scored seven of the first eight points of the second half, including a made three-pointer by junior forward Mike Maczko; the run prompted the Spartans to take a timeout. Salisbury continued to lead by double-digit point totals until the nine-minute mark, as York's Paul Kouvaris made a layup to cut the lead to 58-49. Over the last nine minutes of the contest, the closest the Spartans would get would be five with 3:18 remaining, but the Sea Gulls would convert 13-of-15 free throw attempts over the last three minutes to close out the victory.  

Senior guard David Pearman led the way for the Sea Gulls, as he posted a game-high 22 points and pulled down three rebounds in 37 minutes of action. Senior Chris McGrew tallied 20 points in the contest, as the senior went a perfect 7-for-7 from the field throughout the game. The Burtonsville, Md., native also pulled down five rebounds and handed out three assists. Maczko was the final member of the maroon and gold to reach the double-digit point threshold, as the junior scored 13 points.

Kouvaris put together a strong performance for the Spartans, scoring a team-high 19 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Kevin Whaley and Mo Oursler chipped in with 16 and 13 points, respectively.

With the victory, the Sea Gulls advance to the CAC semifinals, where they will take on No. 2 seed Wesley College (16-9) this Thursday at 7 p.m., in Dover, Del. Wesley swept the season series between the two teams, including a 69-67 victory at Wentworth Gymnasium on Jan. 29.

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