The Salisbury men’s basketball team lost a tough bout against its Capital Athletic Conference foe York College on Wednesday night, 85-78.
The Sea Gulls (9-13, 3-4 CAC) are now tied with the University of Mary Washington for third place in the CAC as the teams are jockeying for the opportunity to host a game in the CAC Tournament.
Salisbury’s home record now sits at 2-7 on the year.
Salisbury entered play after snapping a three-game losing streak with an 84-80 victory over St. Mary’s College of Maryland on Saturday.
The game began as a back-and-forth contest between the two teams. Salisbury went on a 9-0 scoring run to take a 19-11 lead midway through the first half. Much of the Sea Gull offense was established on the defensive end, with steals turning to quick buckets in transition.
The Spartans (17-5, 6-1 CAC) made a run of their own to end the half, cutting the deficit to one at 36-35.
Williams wanted his team to come out of the half with the energy that it began the game with.
“This is not over. We still have a whole other half … The score should be zero to zero in our minds,” Williams said.
The Sea Gulls began the second half with similar energy as the first by maintaining their lead early. York then went on a run and took the lead.
Salisbury was called for several early fouls, leading York to be in the bonus just seven minutes into the second half. Briddell also got his third foul early in the second half and had to come out of the game for a brief time.
York took advantage, outscoring the Sea Gulls 21-9 in the first eight minutes of the half. After a Salisbury timeout, the tides began to change.
Briddell returned to the game, and the Sea Gulls would slowly cut down the Spartans' lead. Eventually, Salisbury would continue its comeback and tie the game 70-70 with 4:45 left in the game.
Senior forward J.P. Krotulis described how his team got back into the game.
“It was really heart. We played really hard and got stops by playing defense really well,” Krotulis said.
Krotulis gathered 10 points and seven rebounds in the loss.
Briddell also helped his team back in the game by knocking down four three-point shots in the second half and finished with 23 points in addition to seven rebounds.
Briddell said it was all about returning to the rhythm he found early in the contest.
“I just wanted to bring my team back into the game and keep attacking just as my coaches tell me to do,” Briddell said.
Even though the game was a losing effort, Briddell saw something different in his team.
“This game shows growth. We are here and we are not going to back down,” Briddell said. “This was definitely a statement game even though we did not get the result that we wanted.”
The Sea Gulls next will face off against Southern Virginia University in their last regular season home game of the year on Saturday at 3 p.m.
Moving into this final home game and into the CAC Tournament, Williams knows that his team is still getting used to winning the hard-fought conference games.
“We had a good fight in this game, but we are still learning how to win what it takes to win a game like this,” Williams said.
By COREY YOUNG
Featured photo: Brad Boardman image.