SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University women's basketball team returned home to host Stevenson University on Tuesday evening, defeating the Mustangs, 69-54.
The Sea Gulls (4-0) appeared out of rhythm in the opening minutes, but a Kaylee Otlowski block to prevent a Stevenson (2-3) fast break off a turnover three minutes in helped spark some energy into the home team.
With four minutes remaining in the opening quarter and down 11-7, Salisbury went on an 11-2 run that was spurred by a dazzling Amber Onyekwere reverse layup and included two Rachel Ryan blocks that put the maroon and gold up 18-13.
The Mustangs swung the momentum in the final two minutes with an 8-2 run of their own, ending the quarter with a 21-20 lead.
Salisbury took back control with a 13-2 run that carried through most of the second quarter. Megan Konig's six points from the floor highlighted the run. Jada Welbon capped it off with an open three-pointer to push the lead to 10 with just over a minute to go in the first half. Stevenson scored five points in the final minute, but a Courtney Brigham layup in the closing seconds gave the Sea Gulls a 35-28 halftime lead.
The Sea Gulls struggled with turnovers to open the second half, allowing the Mustangs to cut the Salisbury lead to 37-36 just over three minutes in. Two field goals by Otlowski over the following twenty seconds provided some breathing room, but Stevenson continued to match basket for basket. The Mustangs tied things up on three separate occasions over the final five minutes of the thrid frame, but never captured the lead.
That changed when Hannah Crist notched a layup 58 seconds into the final frame to give Stevenson the 50-49 lead. It was the visiting team's first lead since the closing seconds of the first quarter. It would be short-lived, however, as the Sea Gulls went on an impressive 20-4 run over the final eight minutes to put away their opponent. Onyekwere and Ryan each scored seven points during the run, and Brigham added another six, as the Sea Gulls went on to win the game, 69-54.
Brigham and Onyekwere paced the Sea Gulls with 12 points apiece, while Ryan reached double digits in rebounds with 10. Otlowski contributed 11 points and a team-high four blocks.
The team returns to action when it travels to Marymount (Va.) University on Wednesday, November 28 to take on the Saints. Opening tip is set for 6 p.m.