OWINGS MILLS, Md. - The Salisbury University men's basketball team traveled across the Bay Bridge Friday afternoon to pick up a 75-72 win against Birmingham Southern College as part of the Hoopville National Invitational Classic, hosted by Stevenson University in Owings Mills, Md.
Senior Tim Harwood and freshman Gordon Jeter led a balanced Salisbury (2-1) attack with 11 points each. They were the only Sea Gulls to reach double digits in scoring, with senior Brandyn Wilkerson and junior Chris Viqueira chipping in eight points each.
Birmingham Southern (2-1) started the game on a 7-0 run before Jeter would put home a bucket to get the Sea Gulls on the board. Salisbury would go on an 11-2 run to take its first lead of the afternoon, when senior Dominic Milburn backed down his defender at the top of the key and put home a midrange jumper 5:07 into the contest.
Following a layup by Birmingham Southern's Evan Lewis to knot the score up at 11 apiece, freshman Charles Porter drove the lane, drew contact and was awarded two shots from the free throw line. Those two made foul shots started a 7-0 run, which included a three-ball by Jeter and was capped by a jumper by sophomore Luke Ruland.
The two teams traded baskets for the remainder of the first half, with neither team pulling too far ahead before the break; the Sea Gulls took a 40-35 lead into the half. Both teams shot well from the field, with the Panthers making 14-of-24 and the Sea Gulls sinking 14-of-31 in the first half.
At the break, Jeter led the Sea Gulls with seven points, with Griffin Schamp and Larry Thomas pacing the Panthers with 13 points each in the first 20 minutes of play.
The second half saw the teams trade baskets for the first few minutes out of the break, with the Sea Gulls able to build the lead as the Panthers were unable to consistently hit free throws.
With 11 minutes remaining in the contest, the Sea Gulls pushed the lead to double digits for the first time. Harwood drove to the basket, put up an off-balance attempt that was good for an and-one. The Rockville, Md., native made the free throw to put the Sea Gulls up 58-48.
The teams battled back and forth before the Panthers whittled the deficit to two, at 70-68, with 5:21 remaining in the contest. After a wild shot by Harwood and a Panther rebound, Birmingham Southern came down and tied the score at 70 with a jump shot off the glass with 4:28 left in the game.
Following a foul by sophomore Jacoy Gillum on a shooting attempt, Ross Welch made two free throws to give the Panthers their first lead since 7-5 just 2:51 into the contest. Jeter came down the court the next possession and tied the score again and then Gillum came up big on the defensive end, forcing a Panther turnover.
Salisbury took the lead for good with 1:09 remaining when Harwood again drove to the hoop, put up a shot while drawing contact, getting the basket and a foul. The senior guard missed the free throw but the Sea Gulls had a 74-72 lead.
Sophomore Kyle Savercool added a free throw to push the lead to three points, 75-72, and the Sea Gulls made a defensive stand, with the Panthers forced to attempt an off-balance three pointer as the clock wound down.
Schamp scored a game-high 27 points in the contest to lead the Panthers.
Jeter again led the Sea Gulls on the boards, bringing down five rebounds in the contest. The Easton, Md., native has led Salisbury in rebounds each of the first three contests.
Salisbury will play another game this weekend at the Hoopville National Invitational Classic in Owings Mills, Md. The Sea Gulls will take on Cabrini College on the campus of Stevenson University Sunday afternoon, with an opening tip scheduled for 3 p.m.