SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University women's basketball team opened up its 2016-17 campaign with a wire-to-wire 56-50 victory over visiting Virginia Wesleyan College on Tuesday night at the Maggs Physical Activities Center.
The season opened up with the Gulls (1-0) attacking the Marlins (0-1) early to the tune of an 11-0 advantage and would not concede the lead all game.
The first quarter saw Salisbury race out to a 19-4 lead as it was able to dominate the low post and get 12 points in the paint.
The Sea Gulls ended the day with 28 points in the paint as their starting forwards, Kaylyn French (nine points) and Josephine Noonan (11 points) each had big days. Both also dominated the glass as French had a career high 15 rebounds and Noonan snagged 12 to complete the double-double.
In the second quarter the Marlins had a sense of urgency and were able to chip away at the early lead that Salisbury got out to.
Virginia Wesleyan got the first six points of the quarter and brought the score to 19-12 before Salisbury got back on track with a Mary McDonagh layup.
McDonagh had a solid outing as the point guard, logging a game-high 35 minutes and dishing out three assists while adding five points to go along with solid defense throughout.
At half's end, the teams went into the locker room with theSea Gulls leading, 28-18.
In the third quarter Lauren Rothfeld got the team going as the Gulls looked to put the game away early. The senior leader was good for five points in the quarter as a part of a great all-around effort. At game's end, Rothfeld netted 14 points to lead Salisbury. She also added five rebounds, a game-high four assists, and two blocks.
Going into the last quarter, Salisbury had a 14 point lead at 43-29 but the Marlins did not go out quietly.
Early on in the fourth, a Rothfeld layup had the Gulls up 17 with eight minutes to play. However, the Marlins went on an 11-0 run to cut the Salisbury lead to six.
A layup from Noonan with just over two minutes to play put an end to Salisbury's six minute scoring drought and turned the momentum in the Sea Gulls direction.
Salisbury closed out the game strong to start off the season for the second year in a row with a victory over the Marlins.
Salisbury now travels to Gwynedd Mercy University for the Gwynedd Mercy Tip-Off on Friday, November 18. The Sea Gulls will take on The College of New Jersey on the opening day of the tournament at 6:00 p.m.