Gulls earn season-opening victory, advance to championship against DeSales

Gulls earn season-opening victory, advance to championship against DeSales

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – The Salisbury University women's basketball team kicked off the 2014-15 season on Saturday afternoon at the Morgan Stanley Tip-Off Tournament held at DeSales University, defeating Stevens Institute of Technology, 62-57, to advance to the championship game on Sunday, November 16 against the Bulldogs. 

The first half started out in favor of the Gulls, scoring the opening six points off two jumpers and a layup by seniors Anna Hackett, Sarah Seipp and junior Julia McLaughlin.

After trading baskets through six minutes of play, SU would separate from the Ducks on an 8-2 run, bringing the score to 21-10 halfway through the first half, but Stevens added a run of its own, getting the score even at 21 apiece with 6:05 remaining. The game would remain close heading into the break, 32-31, but the Gulls never surrendered the lead through the first 20 minutes. McLaughlin paced the offense with 11 points in the first half. 

The second half, like the first, started out on a run for the Sea Gulls, scoring the opening five points to give SU a 37-31 lead. Hackett started the scoring, finishing the front end of two free throws, dishing off an assist for a layup by junior forward Kathy Albornoz, and then adding a layup of her own. 

Salisbury would maintain the lead throughout the rest of the game, spreading the score to seven points twice and as close as one point twice. 

Stevens made the final minute of the game interesting following a jumper by Miranda Ripken, drawing within three with 1:08 remaining, but the Gulls got the late points it needed to hold on for the victory. An important offensive rebound by senior Courtney McManus after a missed jumper by Albornoz, followed up by a layup spread the score to five points, but the Ducks answered with a layup of their own by Brittany Washington to get back within three. Seipp would take over from there, capitalizing from the free-throw line. Sent to the line twice, the senior guard went three-for-four to seal up the win. 

Seipp and McLaughlin led the Sea Gull offense with 14 points apiece, while sophomore Lauren Rothfeld chipped in 10 points. Seipp also led SU in rebounds, pulling down 12 to complete the double-double for the game. Hackett finished the game with seven points and seven assists. 

In the earlier game on Saturday, DeSales defeated Arcadia University, 71-66, to advance to the championship against the Sea Gulls. The championship game will begin at 4 p.m., on Sunday in Billera Hall.