SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 12 Salisbury University men's basketball team claimed an 80-60 Capital Athletic Conference victory on Wednesday night against visiting Marymount (Va.) University.
Five Sea Gulls finished in double figures in the contest, led by senior Wyatt Smith's 16 points, and the team shot 55.2 percent from the floor, including a stellar 74 percent in the second half.
The Sea Gulls jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead with freshman Al Leder hitting a jumper from the right elbow as the shot clock expired before junior Chad Barcikowski buried a three-pointer from just in front of the Marymount bench, prompting a quick Saints' timeout.
Out of the stoppage, the Saints (7-7, 4-3 CAC) got their first basket and cut the lead to four points, getting the Salisbury edge down to 11-9 with 11:40 to play in the half when the Sea Gulls used a timeout to settle things down.
The Sea Gulls (12-2, 7-0 CAC) utilized their own timeout, with Barcikowski connecting from outside again, but a pair of three-point plays in transition allowed the Saints to gain their first lead of the game, 15-14 with 9:30 on the clock and eventually pushed the lead to 10 points, 29-19 – the Saints' largest of the night.
Junior Barry Bratten came up with a layup off a feed from Jordan Brooks, with just under 4:30 to play in the half, and was able to make it a three-point play after a Marymount foul, putting an end to the Saints' run.
Bratten's play began a 9-2 run by Salisbury to close the first half, which included a bucket from Terray Quickley and two from Nick Gittings, pulling Salisbury within 31-28 at the break, capped by senior Justin Witmer rejecting Michael Anderson's layup try just before the final buzzer.
The Saints held the lead through the first four minutes of the second period before Salisbury made a run. Barcikowski connected on three from the top of the key off a feed from Leder – one of Leder's five assists in the game – and Smith followed with a layup as Salisbury put the pressure on with a pair of quick steals and getting easy buckets from Smith and Jeter to push the Gulls ahead, 41-37.
Salisbury continued to control the game, scoring 51 points in the paint in the game, and pushing the lead to double figures on a Bratten three-point play off an assist from Leder with 13 minutes to play.
The lead reached 17 points on a Gittings' hook on the low block just over halfway through the final period. The freshman had another big night, scoring 10, to go with a pair of rebounds and drawing a charge to give the Gulls the possession which allowed them to stretch the lead to 18.
Salisbury hit the 18-point lead for the second time after another Salisbury steal – the Sea Gulls had nine in the game, leading to 23 points off turnovers – ending in a Bratten alley-oop.
The Salisbury lead grew to a game-high 22 with 1:34 left on the clock and Salisbury rolled to the win.
Smith had four rebounds to go with his 16 points while Barcikowski and Jeter each finished with a dozen points and Bratten scored 11.
Salisbury heads away from Salisbury, to York College of Pennsylvania on Saturday, January 14 in a contest slated to tip at 3 p.m.