SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's basketball tallied its second win of the 2021 campaign with a thrilling 69-66 win over Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference rival, St. Mary's (Md.).
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Salisbury made it rain from beyond the three-point arc early in the game. After trailing 6-4 to St. Mary's in the first four minutes of the contest, Salisbury went out on an 18-4 scoring run to storm ahead, 22-10, with just under eight minutes to go in the first half. SU made threes on five consecutive possessions during the run, including back-to-back three-pointers by Johnny Fierstein.
- St. Mary's got back into the game and trimmed the Salisbury lead to 22-21 with 3:56 left in the first half. But, Salisbury stymied the late St. Mary's run in the first half to take a 32-30 lead to the halftime break.
- The two teams traded three-pointers to close out the first half. Paul Garcia knocked down a three at the top of the key then St. Mary's Darian Callaway finished the half with a step-back three of his own.
- The teams jockeyed for position to open the second half. Jordan Oates drained a three off a Fierstein assist to push the Salisbury lead to 43-36, five minutes into the stanza.
- St. Mary's stayed in the game and took the 63-61 lead with 3:57 to go in regulation when Olumide Lewis hit a three-pointer.
- Brandon Craig took over in the final 2:30 of the game. Craig made six of Salisbury's final eight points of regulation, including the eventual game-winning basket on a driving layup with 57 seconds left on the clock.
- St. Mary's had two opportunities to tie or take the lead in the waning moments of the game. A Gary Grant three-pointer hit back iron with 36 seconds left. On the ensuing possession, Oates put-back a Fierstein miss to give Salisbury insurance in the late stages. The stifling, full-court pressure on St. Mary's by Salisbury forced a Seahawk turnover with a second left on the clock to seal the win for SU.
SALISBURY GAME NOTES
- Four players reached double figures for Salisbury. For the second consecutive game, Jordan Oates registered a double-double. Oates led the charge with 11 points and 17 rebounds off the bench. Johnny Fierstein, Jasiah Perry and Brandon Craig all registered 10 points.
- Fierstein dished out a game-best eight assists and added two steals. Perry pulled down seven rebounds.
- Paul Garcia knocked down all three of his three-point attempts to net nine points.
- Off the bench, Cameron Heard tallied eight points, six assists, and five rebounds.
- In his first action of the season, Gary Briddell notched seven points and four rebounds.
- Salisbury shot 35.1 percent (27-77) from the field but hit 45.5 percent (10-22) from three.
- Salisbury outrebounded St. Mary's, 50-44.
- Salisbury only went to the free-throw line five times but made all five attempts.
ST. MARY'S GAME NOTES
- Gary Grant led all scorers with 19 points for St. Mary's. Grant also added eight rebounds and a pair of blocks.
- Olumide Lewis (13) and Micah Henry (12) also reached double-digit points for St. Mary's.
- St. Mary's did shoot better from the field (37.5-35.1) than Salisbury but was held to 5-of-20 from beyond the three-point line and 13-of-21 from the free-throw line.
- Salisbury hits the road for the next four games.
- The road trip begins on Wednesday, Jan. 27 in Ashland, Va. against the Randolph-Macon Yellow Jackets.
- The game is set to begin at 4 p.m.