The Salisbury University men’s basketball team welcomed the Marymount University Saints into Maggs Physical Activities Center last night.
Despite a late push from the Sea Gulls, their comeback bid came up short, and the Saints would claim a 73-68 victory.
The loss is the second loss in a row for the Sea Gulls at home and brings them to a 2-3 record on the year.
The game started as a back-and-forth, low-scoring contest. The teams appeared to be evenly matched, and the low scoring could be attributed to the high defensive effort that both sides displayed at the start of the half.
Head coach Maurice Williams credited his squad’s defense at the beginning of the game and its increased effort on that side of the ball from its previous outing.
“Film doesn’t lie,” Williams said. “And when you see that, you have to make a choice, and we made a choice to play harder.”
Through ten minutes of play, the Saints (3-1) held a 16-10 lead over the Sea Gulls.
Down the stretch in the first half, Salisbury seemed to find some signs of life offensively.
Coming out of a timeout, junior forward Devin Garrett made two threes in a row and ended the first half with 12 points on 5-6 shooting.
SU went into halftime trailing by 11 as the Saints led 40-29. This was the second game in a row in which Salisbury went to the half down by five or more.
Salisbury came out of halftime with a slow start. The team could not find the basket until three minutes had gone by in the second half.
Junior guard Mike Ward converted on a pull-up jump shot as well as an and-one basket to help the Sea Gulls out of the slump.
Even though the team was trailing by double digits, Ward urged his team to continue to play hard.
“We have to leave it all on the floor,” Ward said. “You have to be a dog and keep fighting.”
Ward ended the game with 10 points, five rebounds and one assist.
Ward and Garrett helped bring the Sea Gulls back in the game, shrinking the deficit to just six. A few minutes later, an and-one layup converted by Lucas Martin made it a two-point game, his side now trailing 62-64.
Martin played 24 minutes for Salisbury, scoring 13 points on 5-6 shooting and converting on all three of his free throw attempts.
After some missed free throws by Marymount, the Gulls were down by three with 17 seconds to go. But a missed layup from Salisbury would end the hopes of a comeback.
Garrett ended his night with 19 points on 7-12 shooting, including four made threes. Garrett shot 1-8 from the free throw line in the contest.
Garrett credited extra shooting in practice for his career-best scoring performance.
“I had a different mentality, and I wanted to get myself going along with my teammates,” Garrett said. “I haven’t been shooting well, and I am tired of that result, so I have been in the gym, and I will constantly be in the gym until I get it right.”
Despite the team losing the game, Williams believed the team did make some improvements from last Saturday’s home loss to Yeshiva University.
“We had a lot more fight, and I thought our execution was better,” Williams said.
Salisbury will look to return to .500 on the year as it makes the trip to Baltimore to face Goucher College on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
By COREY YOUNG
Featured photo: Brendan Link image.