BY RICKY POLLITT
After losing the past three games, Salisbury’s women’s basketball team delivered a slaughtering 101-50 victory over their conference rival Southern Virginia Saturday night at Maggs.
Behind 15 different scorers, the Gulls (9-6, 5-3 CAC) recorded the most points since February 11, 2004 where they defeated Gallaudet University 104-40.
The defensive unit was also near perfect against Southern Virginia (3-11, 2-6 CAC) in which they caused 37 turnovers, 23 steals and brought down 40 rebounds.
Sea Gulls’ head coach Kelly Lewandowski believes the win gives her team a new level of confidence they can ride with the rest of the season.
“The biggest thing is getting our confidence back,” Lewandowski said. “We wanted to get some wind back into us and just have fun again.”
Senior forward Julia McLaughlin led all scorers with 18 points, along with recording four steals and seven rebounds.
In the past three games, Salisbury had relied too much on McLaughlin’s athletic ability and was unable to spread the ball around on offense. However, the matchup saw four Sea Gulls score in double digits, including freshman Kaylyn French who has worked her way into Salisbury’s game plan.
“She’s starting to look at the basket a little bit more and get more experience,” Lewandowski said about French. “She also has to play against Julia McLaughlin every day, so that’s giving her great experience.”
French worked her way into the starting lineup in last week’s game against Wesley and followed her performance up with 12 points, five steals and a block against Southern Virginia.
“We push each other a lot in practice, and we all just make each other a lot better,” French said. “This game got us ready for the next, and we all came together and played for each other.”
Salisbury’s defense highlighted the majority of the game, holding Southern Virginia to four points in the second quarter and nine in the third.
The Knights had only one player score more than eight points and converted only fourteen percent of shots beyond the arc.
“We stay consistent no matter who we’re playing with, but we want to stay aggressive and dictate what we want them to do on offense,” Lewandowski said.
As a senior leader, McLaughlin knew her team needed a statement win to ensure the team stayed focus going into the final stretch of the season.
“We’ve been working on our energy at practice,” McLaughlin said. “There are things we need to work on, but there are things we’re doing well too. We’re trying to capitalize on what we’re doing well and carry it over while we’re working on our mistakes.”
The Sea Gulls will have their hands full on Wednesday night as they face the number one team in the CAC in Marymount. Despite the difference in records, Salisbury players believe they have the talent and skill to get the upset and begin their road back to the CAC Championship game.
“We’re excited to play another good team. We’ve dropped some big games, but this win gives us our confidence back,” McLaughlin said.