by Wesley Evans
SALISBURY, Md.—Unable to secure a field goal through the first nine minutes of play, the Southern Virginia University women's basketball team fell to No.18-ranked Salisbury University Saturday afternoon at Maggs Physical Activities Center in Salisbury, Maryland.
The Sea Gulls jumped out to a 15-2 lead through the first eight minutes of the first half, capitalizing on cold shooting from the Knight offense. Junior Crystal Cleveland gave Southern Virginia (4-14, 2-10 CAC) its first two points of the game off two free throws, before a three pointer by guard Larissa Conger gave the visitors their first field goal of the half.
Despite the offensive drought, the Knight defense held Salisbury (18-1, 12-0 CAC) in check as it trailed by just 10 points midway through the first half. The Sea Gull offense picked up before the intermission as it outscored Southern Virginia 23-17, forcing the Knights into 18 first half turnovers. The home team entered the break with a 38-22 halftime lead.
That would be as close as Southern Virginia would get as Salisbury shot nearly 55 percent from the field in the second half, extending its lead to as much as 33 with five minutes left to play.
Cleveland led all Southern Virginia scorers on the afternoon with 16 points while picking up her seventh double-double of the season as she pulled down 13 boards. Conger pitched in a season-high 15 of her own while shooting 6-8 from the field, including 2-3 from the arc.
Sarah Seipp paced Salisbury with 21 points to go along with seven steals and five rebounds.
Women's basketball returns home Wednesday as it hosts Marymount University. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Knight Sports Arena in Buena Vista, Virginia.