MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Led by a pedal-to-the-metal first quarter, the Salisbury University women's basketball team won in its first game in 334 days, trouncing Montclair State 79-54 on Monday evening at the Panzer Athletic Center.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Sea Gulls came out strong from the opening tip, going on a 10-0 run early in the first quarter to build a 12-2 lead within the first four-plus minutes. The Red Hawks then stabilized and the teams traded buckets for the next five.
- Up 20-9 with 48 seconds to go in the opening set, Emily Dilger found Ashlynn Burrows underneath the basket for a layup, and a Jada Welbon steal led to a Kolby Brown three-pointer 10 seconds later, giving Salisbury a 25-9 edge at the end of the first.
- Both teams endured shooting woes in the second quarter, combining to go 8-for-28 from the floor. Abby Wilkinson hit a jumper with 3:16 to go before the half to give the Sea Gulls a 33-17 edge, but the Red Hawks held Salisbury off the board for the rest of the quarter and cut their deficit to 35-22 at the half.
- Kaylee Otlowski seized control out of the break, netting four layups to anchor a 11-2 Salisbury flourish in the first 2:35 of the third quarter, building the cushion to 46-24 and forcing MSU to burn a timeout.
- The third quarter belonged to Otlowski and Lauren Fortescue, who combined for 21 of the Sea Gulls' 31 points in the period to fortify a 66-38 lead.
- Salisbury set it to cruise control in the fourth quarter, emptying the bench and never letting the Red Hawks get closer than 22 on the way to a 25-point victory.
SALISBURY GAME NOTES
- Lauren Fortescue led all scorers with a career-high 22 points, shooting 7-for-17 from the floor and 3-for-8 from beyond the arc. It was the third 20-point game in Fortescue's career, most recently a 20-point output on Feb. 15, 2020, at Christopher Newport.
- Kaylee Otlowski registered her first double-double of the season and 17th of her Sea Gull career, notching 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting and pulling down 15 rebounds. Otlowski was one of two conference players last season to average a double-double.
- Amber Onyekwere and Kolby Brown added seven points apiece, while Emily Dilger scored all six of her points in the first half and corralled nine boards.
- Salisbury shot 41.9 percent (31-for-74) from the floor, including 10-of-20 during a 31-point outburst in the third quarter.
- The Sea Gulls turned a 17-12 edge on the offensive glass into a remarkable 26-7 advantage in second-chance points.
- Salisbury turned the ball over just six times and forced 21 Montclair State giveaways, including a 9-1 turnover edge in the first quarter. The Sea Gulls scored 25 points off turnovers to the Red Hawks' two.
MONTCLAIR STATE GAME NOTES
- Trisha Peterson paced the attack for MSU, scoring a team-high 13 points (4-of-9) with eight rebounds and two blocks.
- Kayla Bush added nine points and six boards, while Taylor Brown contributed six points with nine rebounds and three blocks.
- The Red Hawks shot just 32.7 percent (18-for-55) from the floor, never making more than five field goals in any one quarter.
- Montclair State managed just one steal to the Sea Gulls' 11.
- Salisbury now returns to the Maggs Physical Activities Center for its home opener against Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday, Jan. 30.
- The home game will be the Sea Gulls' first since Feb. 22, 2020, a 63-43 win over Southern Virginia in the first round of the Capital Athletic Conference (now Coast-to-Coast Conference) Tournament.
- Tip is set for 2:00 p.m. with coverage beginning on the Sea Gull Sports Network (SGSN) at 1:45 p.m.