Mocniak drops career-high 18 points; Gulls defeat Saints in CAC play

Mocniak drops career-high 18 points; Gulls defeat Saints in CAC play

SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 18 Salisbury University women's basketball team kept its unblemished record in the Capital Athletic Conference alive Wednesday night, downing Marymount (Va.) University, 70-57, to move its conference record to 7-0 and overall tally to 13-1 for the season.

Winning the opening tip, junior forward Julia McLaughlin had a hand in the first three buckets for Salisbury. Hitting the opening basket on a jumper at the top of the paint, she made the quick steal on the first possession for the Saints that transitioned into an easy left-handed layup for senior guard Anna Hackett. After Marymount's first basket of the game on the next series, the Saints put on full-court pressure that the Sea Gulls had no trouble breaking, as McLaughlin connected with senior forward Melanie Mocniak for another easy layup and a 6-2 lead in the opening minute.

A back-and-forth game throughout the first half, seeing eight lead changes, an 8-0 run starting at the 10:52 mark gave SU a lead it wouldn't surrender. Trailing 18-17, junior forward Kathy Albornoz would find sophomore guard Lauren Rothfeld on a backdoor cut for an easy right-handed finish and the 19-18 lead. Senior guard Sarah Seipp followed the layup with two free throws, while Hackett and Albornoz sank two baskets in the run.

With just under a minute remaining in the first half, Albornoz would find Hackett on the right wing for a three-pointer to give the Gulls their first double-digit lead of the game, 39-29, which they would take into the half.

At the break, Seipp and Mocniak led the offensive charge with 11 and 10 points, respectively, as Salisbury shot 57.1 percent from the field.

By the 14:20 mark in the second half, the Saints fought back to just a seven-point deficit, 47-40, but another run, this time for six points, would give the Gulls back the double-digit lead which they would hold on to for the remainder of the game. In the run, Mocniak cashed in two baskets while Hackett added the other.

Salisbury saw playing time from the entire squad, as freshman guard Mary McDonagh hit a free throw with 57 seconds remaining in the game for her first collegiate points.

For the second-consecutive game, Salisbury shot over 50 percent from the field, finishing the game with 52-percent shooting. Three Gulls finished with double-digit points, while Seipp and Mocniak led all scorers with 18 apiece. Hackett chipped in for 16 points for the game. The 18 points for Mocniak sets a new career high, along with her eight field-goals made.

The Sea Gulls head on the road for their next game, as they travel to the western side of Maryland for a CAC tilt against Frostburg State University. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m., in Bobcat Arena. 

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