NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Salisbury University men's basketball team was eliminated from the Capital Athletic Conference tournament on Thursday night, falling to top-seeded Christopher Newport University in the semifinal round, 87-71.
The 11th-ranked Captains (24-3) came out strong, scoring the game's first 12 points over the first three minutes. The early streak was snapped by a three-pointer from James Foley.
Fourth-seeded Salisbury (19-8) bounced back from the early setback, outscoring the Captains 20-10 over the next eight minutes, making 8-of-10 field goals, including 2-of-4 from three-point land. Mike Ward scored seven of his 13 points on the night during the run as Salisbury took a 23-22 lead – its first of the night.
The Captains retook the lead and were ahead 44-36 at the break.
The Christopher Newport lead reached 13 points in the first few minutes of the second half, but Salisbury was able to dig in. Down by 12 nearing the midway point of the second half, Salisbury was able to put together a 10-0 run to draw pull within two points at 58-56.
Senior Blair Davis began to take charge to keep Salisbury within striking distance, finding seams in the Christopher Newport defense and getting to the basket. He scored four points during the run, totaling 12 in the game.
Salisbury had the game within two points on multiple occasions, but was unable to draw even in the second half.
After Salisbury battled back, the Captains pushed the lead back to double figures, 75-65, with just over five minutes to play and never looked back, getting four points from Marcus Carter during the 10-3 run. Carter scored 15 points in the contest as one of four Captains in double figures.
Salisbury also had four in double figures, with Gary Briddell scoring 17 and Lucas Martin getting 11. Salisbury spent much of the second half dealing with foul trouble. Three Sea Gulls fouled out in the game, as 53 total fouls were called in the contest.
The Sea Gulls now await the announcement of the NCAA tournament field on Monday, February 25 to see if they can earn an at-large bid into the field.