SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University women's basketball team started hot but saw an early lead evaporate, bowing to the Christopher Newport Captains 80-70 in an exhibition game on Saturday at the Maggs PAC.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Down 6-2 early, the Sea Gulls came alive two minutes in and dominated the rest of the first quarter. Courtney Brigham made a layup at the 8:21 mark and Kaylee Otlowski tied with a jumper less than a minute later. Amber Onyekwere then nailed a jumper with 7:16 to go to give SU the lead, and Otlowski hit another one minute after that. Lauren Fortescue hit 1-of-2 free throws at 5:12 to make it a 9-0 run and 11-2 Salisbury cushion.
- CNU broke up the run at the 4:00 mark but Salisbury closed the quarter on a 10-0 push. Kolby Brown got things going with a layup at 2:57, then Jada Welbon hit a pair of free throws and Otlowski knocked down two straight putback layups. Brown closed the quarter with a fastbreak layup with 11 seconds left, and the Sea Gulls took a 21-8 lead out of the game's first 10 minutes.
- Onyekwere's jumper with 9:20 to go in the second quarter gave SU its biggest lead of the day at 23-8. From there the Captains started to find their footing, keeping pace with the Sea Gulls for the rest of the second. With CNU down 31-17 at the 4:22 mark, Phylicia McInnis drained a three-pointer to grab some momentum.
- Ashlynn Burrows answered with a layup, but Gabbi San Diego and Anaya Simmons hit two straight buckets for the Captains to make it 35-24 Salisbury. After Emily Dilger laid one in at 2:16, Simmons and Natalie Terwilliger finished the quarter with two straight CNU field goals, getting the Captains to within 37-28 at halftime.
- The third quarter belonged to the Captains, who found their groove and won the period 28-14. CNU opened on a 12-3 run over the first two-and-a-half minutes, tying it at 40-40 on a Julia Hobbs layup. One minute later Terwilliger laid one in to put the Captains on top 42-40 with 6:07 to go in the third.
- McInnis connected from distance again to make it a five-point lead, and Salisbury finally broke up a nearly four-minute scoring drought with a pair of Otlowski free throws at 4:34. Fortescue hit a pair of driving layups to get the Sea Gulls within one at 47-46, but Simmons answered with a quick layup of her own to push it back to 49-46 with 2:50 to go, and the Captains nudged their lead to 56-51 at the end of the period.
- The fourth quarter became a punch-for-punch affair with each team answering the other's would-be momentum-swinging baskets. Dilger opened with a jumper to get Salisbury within 56-53, but Terwilliger followed up with a layup to push it back to a five-point hole.
- Otlowski hit an acrobatic layup with 7:32 remaining to get Salisbury within 60-59, but Simmons' and-one at the other end ballooned the Captains' lead back to 63-59 moments later.
- The Sea Gulls and Captains kept back-and-forth between a three- and one-point game over the next few minutes, but CNU finally started pulling away at the 4:16 mark. Simmons came in after a rest and drained an immediate bucket, then after an SU miss, Terwilliger took a feed from Simmons for a layup and a foul, hitting the free throw to put the Captains up 72-66 with 3:27 to go.
- Salisbury never got closer than four points again. Down 74-70 with a chance to get back within one possession at the 1:18 mark, Fortescue missed a jumper. Onyekwere forced a steal on the other end, but Simmons stepped in front of a quick pass and stole the ball right back. From there the Captains iced it with free throws, making for a 10-point margin at the final buzzer.
SALISBURY GAME NOTES
- Kaylee Otlowski had another stellar game down low, tallying 22 points (10-of-14) and seven rebounds, including four on the offensive end. In two games against the Captains, this season Otlowski averaged 22.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.
- Ashlynn Burrows made it three straight double-digit scoring games, notching 12 points (6-of-8) in 21 minutes off the bench.
- Lauren Fortescue scored nine points, including eight in the second half, while Amber Onyekwere chipped in seven with four rebounds, four steals and three assists.
- Salisbury shot 45.5 percent (30-of-66) for the game but went 0-of-7 from three-point range. The Sea Gulls again posted a strong turnover margin, forcing 10 CNU giveaways in the first quarter and winning that battle 23-13.
- The Sea Gulls honored their three graduating seniors before the game: Onyekwere, Courtney Brigham and Kaila Brown, all three of whom started. Brown, who has been injured all season, scored the game's first basket uncontested before subbing out of the game.
CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT GAME NOTES
- Anaya Simmons, who did not play in the teams' first matchup on Feb. 10, led all scorers with 23 points (9-of-14) to go along with three rebounds and three steals. Simmons helped ice the game by going 5-of-6 from the free-throw line.
- Natalie Terwilliger posted a double-double, going for 17 points (7-of-11) and 10 rebounds.
- Phylicia McInnis chipped in 12 points off the bend, including a pair of threes.
- The Captains overcame their eight-point first quarter by scoring 20 or more in the final three periods, including 28 in the third quarter. CNU shot 53.8 (28-of-52) for the game and an impressive 94.7 percent (18-of-19) from the charity stripe.
- CNU outrebounded the Sea Gulls 37-28.
- Salisbury concludes its 2021 season on Monday night with a home matchup against Marymount (Va.).
- The ball will tip from the Maggs PAC at 5 p.m. with coverage beginning on the Sea Gull Sports Network (SGSN) at 4:45 p.m.