SALISBURY, Md. – The men's basketball program of Salisbury University took on the No. 13 Spartans of York College of Pennsylvania on Wednesday evening in a rematch of last season's Capital Athletic Conference semifinal. The Sea Gulls rallied late but ultimately fell to the Spartans by the final score of 84-81.
The game came down to the final seconds as Salisbury cut into a seven-point deficit over the final 24 seconds to pull within three with just five seconds left to play in the game. However, Chad Barcikowski's last second three-point attempt ricocheted off as time expired.
The first half started slowly between the two teams as each team managed only four points through the opening five minutes. However, the tone changed over the final 15 minutes of action in the opening half becoming a back-and-forth battle as the teams combined to score 59 points.
Each team was limited in three-pointers, knocking down a combined nine, Salisbury (7-5, 3-2 CAC) with five while York connected on four. The Sea Gull bench came up strong though accounting for 14 points while as a team they tallied 12 in the paint.
Barcikowski and Blair Davis accounted for 15 points in the first half netting eight and seven, respectively, while also combining for three long balls.
Overall, the first half saw eight different lead changes and four ties with neither team leading by more than six. However, the Spartans (12-0, 5-0 CAC) did manage to hold the lead for nearly 14 minutes of the opening half and took a 35-32 advantage into the break.
Barcikowski, who finished the game as the maroon and gold's leading scorer with 24 points, pulled Salisbury within four, 57-53, with just over 10 minutes to play. He embarked on a 5-0 run of his own knocking down a three-pointer as the shot clock expired and proceeded to turn defense into offense forcing a steal and finishing strong at the rim.
Gary Briddell, who finished the night as the second leading scorer with 17 points, cut the deficit to 61-58 on a great individual effort with less than nine minutes to play. Briddell sliced through the Spartans defense drawing contact but finishing strong at the hoop to earn an and-one opportunity, which he managed to convert.
The Sea Gulls finished the night going 39 percent from the field while York shot at a clip of 47 percent including going 57 percent from three-point range in the second half. The Spartans also outrebounded the Gulls 41-38 on the night.
Salisbury returns to action on Saturday, January 6 when it travels to Frostburg State University. Tipoff against the Bobcats is scheduled for 3 p.m.