Strong defense leads Sea Gulls past Shorewomen, 60-45

Strong defense leads Sea Gulls past Shorewomen, 60-45

CHESTERTOWN, Md. – The Salisbury University women's basketball team allowed just 11 field goals from Washington (Md.) College on Saturday night, as the Sea Gulls defeated the Shorewomen, 60-45, in non-conference action to earn their fourth-straight victory.

Both teams started off strong during the first two-and-a-half minutes of the contest. An and-one play by junior Lauren Rothfeld gave Salisbury a 5-2  lead at 7:57, but Washington answered back with a three from Ali Grundy to tie the game.

For the rest of the quarter, the floodgates opened for the Sea Gulls, as they went on a 16-1 run to end the quarter. Senior Julia McLaughlin led Salisbury in the period, tallying eight points and five rebounds, including a turnaround jumper from about 15 feet out off an offensive rebound to make the score 15-6.

McLaughlin also had three assists in the quarter, including hitting freshman Megan Konig in motion with a pass, who drained a jumper just in front of the three-point line to go up 17-6.

Salisbury's offense slowed down in the second quarter, only scoring seven points, but the Sea Gull defense held strong and only allowed seven from the Shorewomen as well, to carry a 28-13 advantage into halftime. Salisbury tallied four steals in the period, including one by Rothfeld that led to a layup by sophomore Josephine Noonan.

The scoring drought continued for the Sea Gulls early in the third quarter, as the Shorewomen went on an 11-0 run to start the period, cutting Salisbury's lead to 29-24. Grundy led Washington in the run, scoring seven points, including a three-pointer from the middle.

Despite the lack of offense early in the quarter, the Sea Gulls responded with a 15-7 run to close out the quarter. Bryce posted four points during the spurt, including a reverse layup under the right side of the basket after a steal by McLaughlin.

With three seconds left in the quarter, McDonagh passed the ball to McLaughlin, who drilled a long-range, buzzer-beater three to end the period and make the score 44-31. That was the first three of McLaughlin's career.

Salisbury's strong play at the end of the third quarter carried over into the fourth, as the Sea Gulls would keep at least a 15 point lead for the rest of the game. 

SU jumped out to a 49-31 lead under two minutes in, led by a fast-break layup from Bryce in transition off a pass from McDonagh.

Grundy hit a three to get the game within 15 points, but strong offense and defense allowed the Gulls to jump out to a 60-38 advantage with just over three minutes to go in the game. Washington put together a late 7-0 run, but it would not be enough.

McLaughlin posted her second-straight double-double (16 points and 10 rebounds) and her third of the season, while also notching seven assists and five steals. Rothfeld tallied 11 points and nine rebounds, and Noonan finished with nine points.

After Winter break, the Sea Gulls will travel down to Orlando, Florida to take on Messiah College for the first game of the Orlando Tournament. That game is set for 3 p.m.

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