Sea Gulls use strong second half to take down Knights, 79-59

Sea Gulls use strong second half to take down Knights, 79-59

BUENA VISTA, Va. – The Salisbury University women's basketball team outscored Southern Virginia University, 42-24, in the second half to earn a big 79-59 Capital Athletic Conference win over the Knights on Saturday afternoon.

With the victory, the Sea Gulls secure a playoff spot in the CAC tournament.

Southern Virginia (6-17, 4-12 CAC) jumped out to an early 4-2 lead in the contest, after jumpers from Jamilla Gambee and Shelby Winsor went through.

Salisbury (12-11, 8-8 CAC) answered back with an 11-2 spurt to take a 13-6 lead with 4:52 left in the first, led by senior Julia McLaughlin, who scored four points during the run, including a driving layup on the baseline.

A long ball from Morgan Hartvigsen stopped the Sea Gulls' run, but Salisbury built a 17-12 advantage with 3:36 left in the period after two jumpers from McLaughlin.

The Knights used an 11-5 stretch that carried over into the second quarter, led by threes from Autumn Cramer and Meredith Ouellette, to give Southern Virginia a 23-22 advantage less than a minute into the second.

Salisbury took advantage of Southern Virginia's full-court press and used a series of fast-break buckets, including a steal by sophomore Paige Bryce that led to a layup while getting fouled, to build a 33-25 advantage halfway through the second quarter. Junior Lauren Rothfeld tallied four points during the 11-2 spurt, including a three from the left wing.

The Knights ended the first half on a 10-4 stretch, getting within two points and putting the score at 37-35 at the break. Larissa Macfarlane and Winsor each scored four during the run.

Salisbury opened the third on a 13-5 run to notch a 50-40 advantage at 4:48 in the period. Freshman Kaylyn French scored four points, including a layup from the right, to lead the Gulls during the spurt that lasted over five minutes.

After two free throws from Southern Virginia, sophomore Mary McDonagh drained a three from the right wing and sophomore Dee Terry finished on a fast-break layup to put Salisbury up 55-42 with 3:33 left in the quarter.

Hartvigsen led the Knights on a 6-3 spurt, burying two three pointers to put the score at 58-51, before Terry cashed in a three from the right side to put the Sea Gulls back up by 10.

Terry's long ball started an 8-1 stretch for Salisbury that carried over into the fourth, as the Gulls took a 66-52 lead with 7:52 left in regulation.

Salisbury stretched out its lead even more in the final period, scoring seven-straight points after layup by Winsor to go up 73-54 with 5:04 left in the game. The Gulls held at least a 17-point advantage for the rest of the contest to come away with the victory.

McLaughlin finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds on the afternoon, notching her eighth double-double this season, and her second in a row. Rothfeld notched 16 points and six rebounds, while Terry scored a career-high 12 points for Salisbury.

The Gulls will be back on the road on Wednesday, February 17, when they take on Marymount (Va.) University in another CAC matchup. That game is set for 6 p.m.

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