SALISBURY, Md. – A strong second quarter proved to be the difference on Wednesday evening, as the Salisbury University women's basketball team remained undefeated in Capital Athletic Conference play and earned a 65-55 win over Penn State University-Harrisburg.
During the first three minutes of action, Penn State-Harrisburg jumped out to a 7-1 advantage, led by a three-pointer from Jasmine Yanich.
Despite the slow start, Salisbury would respond in the quarter, ending the period on a 6-1 run to trail by one point heading into the second. A balanced offensive attack was the story during the spurt, with freshmen Megan Konig and Kaylyn French and senior Julia McLaughlin each notching field goals to help the Sea Gulls fight back.
The lack of offense from Salisbury in the first quarter was made up in the second, as the floodgates opened with the Gulls pouring in 22 points to the Lions' eight in the period.
A jumper in the paint from McLaughlin just over a minute in gave SU its first lead of the contest at 9-8, and the Sea Gulls did not look back.
Salisbury held a 15-14 lead just over five minutes left in the quarter before ending the period on a 14-2 run and take a 29-16 advantage into halftime. After a three-point shot from sophomore Morgan Grubb sparked the run, junior Lauren Rothfeld and McLaughlin took over to lead the Gulls in the spur, tallying five points and four points during the span, respectively. A strong defensive effort, led by steals from sophomores Paige Bryce and Mary McDonagh and Rothfeld, kept the Lions from breaking the run before halftime.
Penn State-Harrisburg started the third quarter with a long ball from Yanich which cut Salisbury's lead to 10 points, but that was as close as the Lions would get in the period, as they added just five more points in the third.
While the Lions struggled to score in the third, the Sea Gull offense kept going and took a 16-point lead (42-26) into the fourth quarter. Grubb and Rothfeld each notched four points in the quarter.
Salisbury dominated the majority of the fourth, building as high as a 19-point lead during the period. McLaughlin put together a strong performance in the quarter, scoring 10 of her 18 points and gathering three rebounds in the period to close out the game.
With 2:26 remaining the game, the Gulls were up 58-40, but the Lions slowly chipped away at the lead, using a 10-2 run the edge the gap and get within 10 points with 36 seconds left. The late spurt by Penn State would not be enough, and Salisbury held on to win, 65-55.
McLaughlin posted her second double-double of the season in the victory with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Rothfeld finished with 14 points and six boards. Grubb put together a career night for Salisbury, notching a career-high 10 points in the contest.
The Sea Gulls now look to Saturday, December 12 when they travel to compete against Washington (Md.) College in a non-conference matchup. That game is set for 6 p.m.