Gulls fall to Saints in CAC showdown

Gulls fall to Saints in CAC showdown

ARLINGTON, Va. – For the first time since December 29, 2014, the No. 15 Salisbury University women's basketball team fell for just the second time this season, dropping a 70-63 decision to Marymount (Va.) University in Capital Athletic Conference play Wednesday night. 

The start of the game played into the favor of the Sea Gulls (22-2, 16-1 CAC). After trading baskets to open the game 4-4, SU grabbed a lead that it wouldn't surrender until four minutes remaining in the first half. Grabbing that lead was a connection between seniors Sarah Seipp and Melanie Mocniak, as Seipp drove the lane to find Mocniak on the left wing for the three-pointer and the 7-4 advantage. 

The Gulls continued to push the tempo hitting a 6-0 run against the Saints, extending the lead to eight. Senior Anna Hackett kept the stroke from behind the arc going, hitting a three of her own off a kick by Mocniak. As Marymount tried to bring the ball down the court, Seipp made the steal at midcourt and made the tough finish on the other end, before drawing the Saints' first timeout of the game at the 16:07 mark. Junior Julia McLaughlin finished off the spurt for the Gulls pulling down an offensive rebound and finishing with the right hand for the 16-8 lead. 

The Saints (16-8, 12-5 CAC) slowly chipped away at the SU lead for the next 12 minutes, reclaiming the lead with 3:50 remaining in the half. Trading the lead twice in the final minutes, Seipp gave the Sea Gulls a bit of momentum to take into the half. With the time ticking into the final seconds, Hackett found herself on the ground wrestling for the ball. Able to push the ball out to the top of the key, Seipp picked it up and fired from behind the arc for the three-pointer at the buzzer and the 34-33 lead. 

The second half saw three lead changes and five ties, as the Saints took over the lead for good by the 5:31 mark. Down just three points with 6:17 left, junior Kathy Albornoz pulled down an offensive board following a free-throw attempt, to find McLaughlin on the backdoor cut. Making the strong finish, McLaughlin cashed in on the layup, drew the foul, and finished off the three-point play at the line to draw the score even one last time. The following play, Marymount connected on a jumper to reclaim the lead it wouldn't lose. 

Salisbury shot 34.7 percent from the field for the game, led by a game-high 23 points by Seipp. Hackett chipped in for 15 points, while McLaughlin recorded her second double-double of the season with 15 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. 

The Sea Gulls finish out the regular season on the road, as Salisbury takes on York College of Pennsylvania in a CAC tilt on Saturday, February 21. SU defeated the Spartans in the first half of league play, 91-81, paced by Hackett's 27 points and eight assists. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m., in Charles Wolf Gymnasium. 

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