Vann scores 22 as Salisbury wins opener against Washington, 73-68

Vann scores 22 as Salisbury wins opener against Washington, 73-68

SALISBURY, Md. -- Senior Travon Vann scored a game-high 22 points on 6-for-12 shooting and sophomore Tim Harwood added 12 as the Salisbury University men's basketball team held on to defeat Washington (Md.) College, 73-68, in the season opener for both teams at the Maggs Physical Activities Center on Thursday.

Salisbury (1-0) was 50 percent on 23-for-46 shooting, jumping out to an 11-point halftime lead, but Washington (0-1) closed to within four, at 69-65, on a three-pointer by Kevin Cunningham before Vann knocked down all four of his free throws in the closing seconds to ensure the win.

Senior Trent Epps had a game-best 11 rebounds to go along with eight points while Harwood and Vann each tallied three assists and Troy King had three steals in the victory.

Salisbury built its lead to 43-26 four minutes into the second when Vann converted a layup and drew contact for a chance at a three-point play. Vann, who was 9-for-9 leading the Gulls' 80 percent shooting night from the line, hit the free throw.

From there, the Shoremen mounted a comeback, scoring seven consecutive points to nudge the deficit under double figures, at 43-34, with 13:58 to play on a pair of foul shots by Charlie McShane.

After a timeout, Craig Ryan responded with a three-pointer from Kyle Savercool on a fast break to restore a 12-point lead. On the next possession, Stephen Poarch scored four straight to make it 46-38 with 12:46 to go.

Vann hit a layup to give SU a 13-point lead, 61-48, that was whittled to four with a 17-8 run, capped by the Cunningham trey.

The Sea Gulls outrebounded the Shoremen, 33-29, and received 25 points from their bench and 18 in transition.

Vann scored five straight points to give SU an 8-3 lead at the 17:32 mark of the first half, sparking a 19-0 run over 5:39. Elijah Gore hit a three-pointer in transition to give Salisbury a nine-point lead, at 12-3, with 15:48 left and Ryan completed a three-point play off an assist from King to make it 18-3.

Six different players scored in the run, which saw Salisbury lead 23-3, on a pair of free throws by Dylan Robeson with 12:27 remaining in the half.

Washington countered with an 18-2 run of its own to get back within four on a dunk by Poarch with 5:36 left, before Epps had with four quick points to get the Gulls back on track, growing their lead to 29-21 with four minutes left.

Salisbury went into the break leading, 36-25.

Cunningham led three Washington players in double figures with 16 points. Poarch recorded 15 and McShane 13.

SU is back in action Friday in Williamsport, Pa., at the Lycoming Tournament. The Sea Gulls face The College at Old Westbury at 8 p.m.

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