SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University women's basketball team completed its play in the 2011 Optimist Classic on Saturday afternoon running down Southern Virginia University, 87-85, at Maggs Physical Activities Center.
Salisbury (3-3) fell behind early in the game, trailing by as many as 10 just five minutes into the contest, but junior Katie McGahagan would score 11 straight points for the Sea Gulls to chip away at the lead. McGahagan scored a team-best 22 points for the game, 18 of which came in the first 20 minutes of play. The 22 points are a new career high.
The Sea Gulls put together a 13-0 burst, thanks in part to three-pointers from freshman Lexi Kebetz and senior KC Curran, over a stretch of just over two minutes to take their first lead of the game, 34-30, with 8:04 left in the first half.
The Sea Gulls were able to take a 51-44 lead into halftime, as they ran with the up-and-down style of Southern Virginia (5-4). Salisbury scored 12 fast-break points in the first half and got 27 points from the bench.
After shooting 51.2 percent from the floor in the first half, Salisbury cooled a bit in the final 20 minutes, connecting on 41 percent of their shots from the floor. But with solid defense, holding the Knights to just 33.8 percent from the floor for the game, the Sea Gulls were able to earn the win.
Senior Meghan Dunn scored five of Salisbury's final seven points in the game, holding off a late run by the Knights. Southern Virginia's final chance to tie the game came off a missed free throw with two seconds remaining, trailing by two. Amaris Newkirk grabbed the offensive rebound, but her putback attempt was rejected by freshman Whitney Kolakowski.
Kolakowski pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds while blocking four shots. The 13-rebound mark was one of a number of career highs for the Gulls in the game. Freshman guard Anna Hackett had a career best 11 assists and matched a career mark with eight rebounds, as she added nine points to just miss a triple-double.
Dunn finished with 12 points as senior Milan Dry had 10 points, 12 rebounds and dished out six assists.
Southern Virginia was paced by Mina Romito with 23 points while Alli Winters scored 20 and Newkirk had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Salisbury will be back in action on Tuesday, Dec. 6, as the Gulls travel to Marymount (Va.) University.