BY RICKY POLLITT
It took five quarters, but when the smoke cleared, the Salisbury women’s basketball team fell short of taking down the top-seeded Marymount Saints Wednesday night at Maggs.
Ranked in the upper half of defenses in the Capital Athletic Conference, the Sea Gulls (9-7, 5-4 CAC) were unable to hold their half time lead and lost 48-45 in a heartbreaking overtime game to the Saints (13-3, 8-1 CAC).
Despite both teams having some of the top shooters in the conference, neither team was able to score more than 12 points in any quarter. Marymount’s defense held Salisbury to three total points in the third.
“It went back and forth, and it could have gone either way. It was just a hard fought battle between two tough teams,” Sea Gulls’ head coach Kelly Lewandowski said.
Both teams came into the game with the plan of shutting down the opposing top scorers. For Salisbury it was taking out Marymount forward Nicole Viscuso, for the Saints, it was shutting down Sea Gulls’ forward Julia McLaughlin.
Viscuso and McLaughlin still were able to post decent numbers throughout the match, but it was Salisbury’s lack of shooting the long ball that cost them in the end.
The Sea Gulls came into the game shooting 38-percent from beyond the arc. However, Marymount’s defense applied too much pressure not allowing Salisbury to put one three-pointer on the board, finishing 0-8 on the day.
“I don’t it was anything they were doing, we just have to stay disciplined to what we know,” junior guard Lauren Rothfeld said. “We just have to stick to Salisbury basketball, but I think we’ll get there.”
Salisbury held a 22-18 lead at halftime, but much like other losses the Gulls have gone through this season, they were unable to finish in the second half.
After getting outscored 19-15 in the second half, a jumper from McLaughlin forced overtime. However, Salisbury’s lack of forcing turnovers and foul troubles allowed Marymount to score 11 in the extra period and ultimately capture the win.
“It’s our second overtime loss, and I think we’re all getting tired of it, so hopefully next time we’ll end at the end of regulation,” McLaughlin said.
The Sea Gulls were able to excel in other categories despite the loss. Salisbury outrebounded Marymount, had more second chance points and scored more points off of turnovers.
“The girls scouted them pretty well and were very disciplined. They did, generally, a good job playing them how our game plan was set up,” Lewandowski said.
The loss keeps Salisbury at the fifth spot in the CAC, but they will have time to climb the latter with Saturday’s game against Penn. State-Harrisburg marking the second half of conference play.
“We learn what we’re going to do next time. Saturday’s the start of the second half of the conference (play), so we just have to win all those and we’re good,” McLaughlin said.