SALISBURY, MD – Senior Elijah Gore drained a three-pointer from the right wing to break a 56-56 tie with 1:14 remaining and the Salisbury University men's basketball team held on for a 63-60 win over York (Pa.) College in Capital Athletic Conference action at Maggs Physical Activities Center on Saturday.
Gore took a pass from classmate Travon Vann and hit his only three of the game to give Salisbury (14-7, 5-3 CAC) the lead for good. York's Julian Watson got the Spartans within one point two times in the final 18 seconds, but SU knocked down 4-of-5 free throws in the last minute to seal the win.
Vann led the Gulls with 15 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals for his fifth double-double of the season. Seniors Craig Ryan and Dylan Robeson tallied nine points apiece and Ryan added four assists.
Salisbury overcame a hot-shooting York (7-14, 2-7) squad, which finished 22-for-41 from the field (53.7 percent), including going 12-of-20 (60 percent) in the second half. Brandon Enck posted a game-high 18 points and 11 boards for the Spartans, who also received 12 points from Mitch Kemp.
Kemp gave York its first lead of the game on the first possession of the second half with a three, assisted by Chad Styer, for a 30-29 lead, before Robeson responded with a three of his own from Ryan to retake control of things with a 32-30 advantage on the next trip down the court.
The Sea Gulls opened a 52-46 lead when Vann converted a three-point play with 9:23 left and Trent Epps added a layup to make it an eight-point game with 6:54 remaining It looked as though Salisbury may cruise to victory, but Todd Maciejewski followed with a bucket off a Watson assist, sparking an 8-0 Spartans' surge that knotted the game at 54-54 with 2:42 to play.
Vann hit a layup on the ensuing possession to reclaim the lead again for Salisbury, prior to two free throws from Kemp to tie the game for the fifth time and set the stage for Gore's three.
The Sea Gulls shot just 38.3 percent from the floor, connecting on 23-of-60 shots, but outrebounded York, 31-29, on the day. SU turned 16 Spartan turnovers into 16 points.
Salisbury opened the game on a 9-3 run, courtesy of three-pointers by Vann, Ryan and Robeson in the first 3:31. York closed to within 14-12 at the 12:03 mark when Watson hit a pair of free throws, but Ryan hit another three off a Vann assist to extend the lead to 17:12 with 11:31 left. Ryan's third triple of the half, coming two-and-a-half minutes later, gave Salisbury its largest advantage of the first 20 minutes at 22-14.
The Spartans, though, cut the deficit to 29-27 at intermission thanks to Matt McNeely hitting 1-of-2 from the line with 1:22 left.
Salisbury hosts Marymount (Va.) University on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.