SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 18 Salisbury University women's basketball team heads into Capital Athletic Conference postseason play on Thursday, February 26 as the top seed in the tournament. The Sea Gulls will take on No. 5-seeded York College of Pennsylvania in Maggs Physical Activities Center at 6 p.m.
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How We Got Here
Going 17-1 through league play this season, the Sea Gulls sealed up the top seed in the conference tournament with three games left in the regular season. On February 11 against Wesley, a 61-43 victory paced by sophomore Lauren Rothfeld's career-high 17 points was all SU needed to claim the top seed. As No. 1, the Gulls received a first-round bye and the opportunity to host throughout the tournament.
How They Got Here
The Spartans concluded regular-season CAC play with a 7-11 record, good enough to earn them the No. 5 seed in the league tournament. In the first round, York traveled to No. 4-seeded Christopher Newport University where it overcame an 18-point deficit to advance past the Captains, 73-65.
Last Time We Met
The two squads concluded the regular season with a matchup in York, Pennsylvania in Charles Wolf Gymnasium. A late 14-0 run by the Sea Gulls was good enough to take down the Spartans in a game that saw 21 lead changes. Senior Anna Hackett paced the Sea Gull offense with 18 points, all of which were scored in the second half.
Holding the overall series advantage, 31-21, the Gulls are currently on a three-game winning streak against York dating back to the second half of league play last season, when Salisbury defeated the Spartans, 79-69, in Maggs.
Setting New Barriers
The Sea Gulls have reached new heights this season, rebuilding a program to a nationally-ranked competitor. Concluding the regular season with a 23-2 overall record, they are just one victory shy of matching the program's most wins in a single season, a tally that had been reached in back-to-back seasons at the beginning of the new millennium. The more impressive feat is going 17-1 in the CAC, not only the most league victories in program history, but also the most victories in women's basketball history in the league. The previous record was set by the University of Mary Washington and York with 16.
The Salisbury men's basketball team is also hosting a CAC semifinal contest on Thursday, marking the first time in program history that both basketball teams are hosting the round in the same season. The 2014-15 season has been one of big success for both teams, as they have combined for a 41-9 record, 31-5 in the CAC. Both teams have set their respective program records for CAC wins in a single season, as well.
Mocniak vs. Mocniak
The Mocniak sisters will meet up on the court for the third time this season, this time battling out for a spot in the conference championship match. Salisbury senior Melanie Mocniak has started in 20 games of the 25 played in, averaging 6.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. York freshman Sam Mocniak has played in 25 contests, starting in one, averaging four points and one rebound per game. In high school, the two played basketball for St. Mary's High School in Annapolis, Maryland, before deciding different paths for collegiate play.
Pending a victory in the semifinal matchup, the Sea Gulls will look forward to hosting the conference championship on Saturday, February 28 in Maggs. If the Spartans prevail, they will advance to the championship against the winner of the other semifinal game between No. 2-seeded Mary Washington and No. 3-seeded Marymount (Va.) University.