SALISBURY, Md. – Salisbury University men's basketball earned a hard fought 75-68 victory over visiting Wesley College in the first round of the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament on Tuesday night.
In a game that saw 15 lead changes throughout, the Sea Gulls (18-8) got the one that mattered as Chad Barcikowski knocked down two free-throws with 3:14 left to go and would hold on to secure the seven point victory.
Barcikowski finished the night as Salisbury's leading scorer, netting 21 points to record his eighth 20-point game of the season and third in a row. He would also add in a team-high eight rebounds and finished the night 7-of-16 from the field.
With 4:37 left to play Salisbury found themselves trailing by two after the Wolverines' (13-13) George Cook knocked down one of Wesley's eight three-pointers for a 64-62 lead. The lead lasted exactly 30 seconds as Barcikowski knocked down his second three-pointer of the contest to give Salisbury the lead for good, 65-64.
On Wesley's next possession though the Wolverines had the chance to take the lead, but JW Lawson only was able to knock down 1-of-2 free-throws to tie the game for the eighth time. Once again it was Barcikowski who stepped up, knocking down two of the Sea Gulls six made free-throws down the stretch to earn the win.
Holding on to a two-point advantage, Barcikowski looked to push the lead to five but his three-pointer was off the mark. However, Lucas Martin, who netted 10 points on the evening on a 4-of-9 performance from the field, was in the right place at the right time and rose above the sea of hands to tip the ball back into the net for a four-point lead.
Johnny Fierstein, who finished the night as the Gulls' second leading scorer with 13 points, knocked down two free-throws down the stretch to push the lead to 72-66 with 19 seconds left to play and help preserve the victory.
Salisbury will now travel to No. 2 York College of Pennsylvania on Thursday, February 22 for a 7 p.m. tip-off. This will be the second consecutive year that both the Sea Gulls and Spartans have met in the CAC semifinals.