MIDDLETOWN, Pa. - The Salisbury University women's basketball team earned its first win of the new year with a 70-57 Capital Athletic Conference victory over Penn State University-Harrisburg on Saturday afternoon.
The Lions jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game, but a jumper from sophomore Julia McLaughlin and a lay up from junior Sarah Seipp tied the score for Salisbury. Both players helped lead the Gulls in the first half and reached double digits in the game with 10 and 14 points, respectively.
The teams kept the game close, with neither one leading by more than three points, until the score was tied, 13-13, at the 8:41 mark of the first half.
After a near three-minute scoring draught for both schools, McLaughlin put the Sea Gulls ahead with a lay up, while Seipp followed with another lay up and a jump shot. Junior Courtney McManus completed a 9-0 run to put the Sea Gulls ahead, 22-13, with a three-pointer for her first points of the game.
Junior Melanie Mocniak hit a three to push SU's lead to 11 with 2:54 left in the half for its largest lead in the period.
PSU would cut the lead to 29-23 with five-straight points, but Mocniak and McLaughlin would both add jumpers, sandwiching another Lion's basket, to close the half, as the Gulls took a 33-25 lead into the break.
The Salisbury offense came out strong in the second half, pushing its lead to 17 points, 47-30, in the first six minutes of the period, while riding a 14-3 run. McManus drained a three to start the spurt, while junior Anna Hackett led the team with eight points in the span, including one lay up, one jumper and one three-pointer; Hackett had a team high with 16 points and 11 assists in the game.
The Lions responded with an 8-0 run to cut into the Sea Gulls' lead, but another McLaughlin lay up, followed by two McManus threes, helped to keep SU's lead and put the Gulls ahead 57-42 with 7:48 remaining in the game.
Despite having Penn State cut back into the lead with a 15-8 run, the Gulls led, 65-57, with 1:01 remaining, and two free throws each from Hackett and freshman Lauren Rothfeld and another by Seipp closed the game for Salisbury.
McManus ended the game with 12 points, shooting 4-for-9 from behind the arc, as the fourth Gull in double digits, while McLaughlin and Mocniak led the team with seven rebounds each.
SU now looks forward to its first game of 2014 at Maggs Physical Activities Center, as it will host the University of Mary Washington on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.