Updated: Feb 15, 2019
The Salisbury University men’s basketball team fell to Christopher Newport University on Wednesday evening in its home finale by a final score of 91-74.
The Sea Gulls (17-7, 7-6 CAC) started the game on a 6-0 run highlighted by four points from senior guard Blair Davis. This lead grew to 11-4, the largest lead SU held in the game, when junior forward Lucas Martin finished a layup underneath the basket.
The Captains, however, did not trail for long. Junior forward Cutch Ellis converted on his and-one opportunity and redshirt senior guard Marcus Carter followed with a layup, cutting the deficit to 11-9. After some back-and-forth, the Captains (20-3, 10-2 CAC) pulled ahead off the back of a 14-2 run.
CNU continued its success late in the half, outscoring the Gulls 17-8 in the final five minutes of the first half. SU went into the break trailing 43-26.
Davis led the Sea Gulls in scoring at the half, notching seven points and three assists. Martin would follow just behind Davis with six points at the half while Ellis led CNU with 12 points and six rebounds.
The Gulls got off to another quick start as junior center J.P. Krotulis claimed the first four points of the second half and cut the CNU lead to 13, 43-30.
CNU responded yet again, formulating a 17-3 run over the next four minutes and growing the lead to 27 points, 60-33. The Captains would lead by as many as 28 points in the game, shooting over 50 percent from the field and just under 77 percent from three-point range in the second half.
SU would fight to narrow the gap, but could only cut the deficit to 19 by the end of the game. The Gulls converted on 45 percent of their field goal attempts and just under 39 percent of their three-point field goal attempts. The Captains won the rebound margin, outrebounding the Gulls 42-23.
With the loss, the maroon and gold look ahead to a critically important matchup at Frostburg State University. The outcome of this game could decide the fourth seed in the CAC tournament.
“We have to win,” said interim head coach Brian McDermott. “We’ve just talked about it, we’ll get out there and do our best against them on Saturday. These guys are hungry, this is a tough loss that they’ll have to get past and move on.”
“We just gotta be prepared for Saturday," senior forward Chase Kumor said. "It’s gonna be their senior day. They’re gonna have a lot of energy, and they play off that energy.”
Fortunately for the Sea Gulls, they’ll have a larger roster this time around against their CAC foe. When these two teams last faced, SU had just eight players on the roster and lost by a final score of 97-86. There are now 13 players on the Sea Gulls' roster.
“Having only eight guys, and one was still a little under-the-weather even playing so it was really seven, it was tough playing here,” Kumor said. “We were undermanned, and they play about 12 guys, so it was tough. But we just gotta come out with energy and we can get the job done.”
SU will travel to face Frostburg State on Saturday for the regular season finale, with a chance at hosting a home playoff game on the line. Tipoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.
By NICK LEWIS
PHOTOS by MARSHALL HAAS