OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The Salisbury University women's basketball team got off to a strong start on Tuesday night against Stevenson University, but the Sea Gulls fell short, 47-41, after a late push by the Mustangs proved to be the difference.
Senior Julia McLaughlin started off hot for the Sea Gulls, scoring 10 points in the first quarter, including a turnaround jumper in the lane to open up the scoring in the game.
Salisbury started the quarter on an 8-2 run, which included a right-handed hook shot in the lane from sophomore Josephine Noonan.
The Sea Gull defense also came to play early, notching five steals and taking advantage of nine Stevenson turnovers in the first quarter.
Salisbury jumped out to a 14-4 lead with just over two minutes left in the first, but Stevenson cut the Sea Gull lead to 14-8 under a minute into the second quarter after a made layup from Jonyae Curry.
The Sea Gulls answered the Mustangs' four-straight points with a 5-0 run to go up by 11 with 4:16 left in the second. Junior Lauren Rothfeld, freshman Kaylyn French and McLaughlin each scored in the push.
Stevenson battled back to get within five points at 20-15 with under a minute before halftime, but layups by Noonan and Rothfeld gave Salisbury a 24-17 advantage at the break.
The Sea Gulls built a 28-19 lead early in the third quarter, aided by a layup by sophomore Dee Terry that sparked the run.
After the hot start by Salisbury, Stevenson answered with an 11-2 run to tie the game at 30-30 with five-and-a-half minutes to go in the third, led by Stephanie Martinez, who scored seven points in the spurt.
A 6-2 run from the Sea Gulls, including a floater in the lane from McLaughlin that went in as the shot clock expired, fended off the Mustangs and gave them a 36-32 lead heading into the fourth. But an 11-2 start by Stevenson during the first five minutes of the fourth put the game out of reach for Salisbury. During the run, the Mustangs notched their first lead of the contest and stayed ahead for the final four minutes of the game.
McLaughlin led the Sea Gulls on the night, tallying game-highs in points (18), rebounds (nine), and steals (eight), while Rothfeld finished with seven points, eight rebounds, and five steals. McLaughlin's eight steals ties her career high in the category, which she recorded against St. Mary's College of Maryland on February 13, 2013.
After Thanksgiving break, the Gulls will get back to action when they travel to take on Christopher Newport University on Wednesday, December 2, for their Capital Athletic Conference opener. That game is set for 5:30 p.m.