SALISBURY, Md. - With a 73-59 win over St. Mary's College of Maryland, the Salisbury University women's basketball team advanced to its third-straight Capital Athletic Conference tournament semifinal game, traveling to Christopher Newport University on Thursday; the game is set for 7 p.m.
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How we got here
The Sea Gulls defeated St. Mary's in a CAC first-round game at Maggs Physical Activities Center on Tuesday behind a game-high 23 points from junior guard Sarah Seipp. Seipp hit five shots from long-range, while junior guard Anna Hackett added 14 points, a team-high seven assists and six rebounds. After holding a four-point halftime lead, SU used 41 second-half points and 45.7 percent second-half shooting to grab the victory.
How they got here
In its first season as a CAC member, Christopher Newport finished with a 13-3 record in the conference to earn the second seed in the CAC tournament and a first-round bye. The Captains ended their season winning 16-of-18 games, with 14 of the wins against conference teams.
Christopher Newport leads the all-time series with Salisbury, 14-9, after winning both regular-season matchups this season. With the two losses, SU has fallen in its past four contests against the Captains. The Sea Gulls were last victorious over CNU on Nov. 25, 2003 in a 77-73 win.
The last time we met
On Feb. 5, Salisbury hosted CNU, falling 68-52, marking the last game that the Sea Gulls dropped. Tia Perry led the Captains with 22 points, while pulling down eight rebounds in the game, as CNU took the win. Seipp and Hackett scored 16 and 14 points, respectively, to lead SU. Christopher Newport shot 50 percent from the floor in the game, outshooting the Gulls' 27.8 percent.
Taking the next step
In three seasons under Head Coach Kelly Lewandowski, the Sea Gulls have made it to three CAC semifinal games. During the 2011-12 season, SU fell to York College of Pennsylvania in a semifinal game, before falling to Marymount (Va.) University in the game last season. This season, the Sea Gulls look to take the next step and advance to their first CAC championship game since 2004-05 with a win over CNU.
Up against the best
Salisbury has spent the 2013-14 season playing against some of the best teams in Division III women's basketball, earning it the 16th-best strength-of-schedule ranking by the Bennett Rank. The Sea Gulls' No. 16 ranking, out of 439 teams, is the best strength of schedule in the CAC. The next closest is Wesley College's 76th SoS ranking, and no other conference team cracked the top 100. Overall, SU holds a No. 69 overall ranking in the Bennett Rank.
Scouting Christopher Newport
CNU enters the CAC semifinals as the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament and the No. 20 team in the d3hoops.com national poll with a 21-4 record (13-3 CAC). The Captains scored 75.6 points per game, while holding opponents to 59.1 and have only lost one game at home all season. The team is led by Tia Perry and Nicole Mitchell with 16.2 and 16.1 points per game averages, respectively. Camry Green pulls down a team-high 7.9 rebounds, while adding 11.5 points per game.
The winner of this semifinal matchup will advance to the CAC championship game against the winner of the other semifinal game between Marymount and York. The championship game is set for Saturday at 2 p.m.