Sophomore Goes Off, Contributes 20 Points to 67-59 Victory
TOWSON, Md. — With the beginning Goucher had against Salisbury in the Decker Sports & Recreation Center this afternoon, there was little reason to think the ending would really matter.
The Gophers started out missing their first nine shots from the field as the Sea Gulls darted out to a 13-3 advantage in the opening 6:52. Salisbury led by as many as 11 points in the first half and walked off the court at halftime up 33-26.
In the second half, however, head coach Didi Cotton’s Gophers missed only four of their first 14 shots and rallied to take as much as a 12-point lead. To their credit, there was no quit in the Sea Gulls either, as they battled back to tie the score at 59-59 on a basket by Janay Johnson with 3:25 left to play.
But a pair of free throws by Shante Atkinson (Millersville, Md./Old Mill) with 1:53 remaining snapped the tie and ignited a game-finishing 8-0 run that allowed the Gophers (4-5) to emerge with a 67-59 triumph over their in-state rivals.
Goucher's leading scorer against the Sea Gulls (5-2) was Elizabeth von Ende (Leawood, Kan./American Hebrew Academy), who was held without a point until she got a jumper to fall 4:29 into the second half. On the Gophers' next trip down the court, she landed a shot from three-point range to create a 37-37 tie.
After the Sea Gulls regained the lead on a jumper by Nicole Sisco, von Ende nailed another three-pointer to put the Gophers ahead 40-39 with 14:31 left to play. The sophomore guard/forward extended her personal scoring streak to 10 consecutive points on Goucher's subsequent possession, again providing her team with a one-point advantage by connecting on a mid-range jump shot.
von Ende's fourth field goal in a span of 1:28 also started a run of 13 unanswered points that pushed Goucher's lead to 53-41 midway through the second half.
Salisbury staged a rally of its own, catching the Gophers at 59. But over the final 2:57, the Sea Gulls were 0-for-4 from the floor and committed four turnovers.
By making two free throws with :13 remaining to close out the scoring, von Ende finished with 20 points. Atkinson backed her up by supplying the Gophers with 14 points and Victoria Mitchell (Baltimore, Md./Baltimore City College) came up with her second double-double of the season by combining 10 points with 12 rebounds.
Scoring honors for Salisbury went to K.C. Curran, who knocked down 18 points. Kylie Hall added a double-double of 16 points and 16 rebounds.
This was the first meeting between the Gophers and Sea Gulls in the sport of women's basketball since Goucher left the Capital Athletic Conference following the 2006-07 season. During the 13 seasons they were both members of the CAC, Salisbury prevailed in 25 of the 29 head-to-head encounters.