Atkins sinks game winner to lead SU past Stevenson
SALISBURY, Md. – Senior Mike Atkins drained a jump shot from the right wing at the buzzer to lift the Salisbury University men's basketball team to a 53-51 victory over Stevenson University at Maggs Physical Activities Center on Saturday.
Salisbury (6-3, 1-2 Capital Athletic Conference) clawed back from a 13-point second-half deficit to earn its first CAC victory of the year, closing Saturday's game on a 20-5 run.
Salisbury trailed by 12 at halftime as the Mustangs (2-6, 0-3 CAC) were able to hold the lead near double figures until the edge topped out at a baker's dozen with 9:49 to play. Then the Gulls made their run.
Junior guard Craig Ryan got things going with a three-pointer to begin Salisbury's push for the victory.
The lead was into single digits when senior Mike Maczko connected on two free throws, for two of his game-high 23 points.
Brett Burrier's three, with 7:28 left, gave Stevenson a 51-40 lead, but they would be the final points of the night for the Mustangs.
Salisbury, which connected on 15-of-44 shots (34.1 percent) until that point, would make 5-of-10 down the stretch including six-straight points from Maczko to tie the game at 51-51.
After two missed chances in the paint for the Mustangs in the closing seconds, senior Lee Righter pulled down a rebound and sent an outlet pass to Devin Posey who found Atkins at midcourt. Atkins dribbled in to the right wing and pulled up from 19 feet, just in front of Salisbury's bench, for the game-winner as time expired.
Salisbury opened the game on an 11-3 run in the first 10 minutes, capped by a Maczko jumper before Stevenson tied the game on a free throw by Burrier and took the lead on two more from the line by Stephon McCray to make it 19-17 with 5:09 left in the half. The Mustangs closed the opening 20 minutes of play on a 13-3 run to take the 12-point edge into halftime, but it would not be enough to overcome Atkins' heroics.
Atkins finished with 12 points while adding six rebounds and Maczko grabbed six boards and dished a team-high five assists to go with his 23 points.
Burrier paced the Mustangs with 14 points.
SU hosts Elizabethtown College next Saturday at 3 p.m., in the team's final home game of 2011.