By MARY PURKERT
The University of Mary Washington Women’s basketball team not only silenced Salisbury fans, but Salisbury’s coach as well, in their 72-51 win over the Sea Gulls in Goolrick Gynasium Tuesday.
The Sea Gulls coach, who prior to the second half was throwing tantrums that could rival those of Bob Night, sat in near silence for the rest of the game.
From her seat on the bench, she watched as the Eagles not only widened their 33-18 halftime lead, but eventually extended the lead to the 20 point final difference.
Junior Liz Hickey, who scored a team-high of 12 points and added five rebounds and three blocks, knew the game would be intense from before she stepped foot on the court.
“We knew going into the game that Salisbury was to play tough especially when they realized Debbie Bruen and Katy Larson wouldn’t be playing,” she said.
Bruen was out due to illness and Larson has a knee injury.
Without their presence on the court the Eagles had to shift their team focus for the game.
“To overcome their absence we focused on our defense,” Hickey said.
Salisbury could not break past their Eagle defense and a shot a mere 31.7 percent from the floor, while UMW shot 42 percent.
Matching Hickey in double-digit scoring were Sophomore Katie Clarkin with 12, Junior Sarah Flanagan with 11, and Junior Amanda Bates who scored 10 and grabbed five rebounds.
Salisbury has not beaten the Eagle women in the past four years.
“We really wanted to keep that streak going,” Hickey said.
The win was most definitely a team effort as the girls played with extreme fluidity.
“I felt our team chemistry was a big part of the win, it always makes the game more fun when everyone is clicking,” Clarkin said.
Even with the playoffs looming near and NCAA tournament play an almost definite possibility, Clarkin notes the team’s calm attitude.
“We are just taking it one game at a time. We can’t over look anyone, so we just take it day by day.”
However, that does not mean that girls are forgetting what team goals they set at the beginning of the season.
“Our team goal was to win the CAC and then go even further in the NCAA tournament then we did last year,” Hickey said.
Until the post-season arrives, the girls are preparing themselves for the CAC tournament, it is close, but they feel prepared.
“We want to make our season last as long as possible, we are obviously still trying to achieve that, and with each game we are improving,” Clarkin said.
With their win over Salisbury, the Eagles are now ranked 14th in the NCAA Division III rankings, advancing to 19-2 overall and 9-1 in CAC games. The women still sit proudly at the top of their conference which was earned in Saturday’s revenge win against York College, 74-62.
The Eagles will face another CAC opponent, Gallaudet University, Thursday night at 6 pm.