Salisbury falls short of Division III Final Four Jersey City State tops Sea Gulls, 97-83

March 15, 1992|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Staff Writer

SALISBURY -- There were no excuses after Salisbury State fell one game short of the NCAA Division III Final Four.

The Sea Gulls were No. 2 in the final national rankings, but they were no match for No. 7 Jersey City State in last night's 97-83 loss at the Maggs Center. Jersey City State (27-3), which won its 20th straight, moves on to next weekend's Final Four in Springfield, Ohio.

Salisbury State (28-2), which had a 27-game win streak brushed away, saw an end come to the Andre Foreman era and the best season in school history. Foreman, the all-time leading scorer in Division III history with 2,940 points, had game-high totals of 29 points and 17 rebounds, but he earned every number against a Jersey City State team that more than matched Salisbury State's depth, particularly inside.

"We couldn't get anything going inside, and they [the Gothic Knights] had something to do with that," Sea Gulls coach Ward Lambert said. "We're not a great outside shooting team, and we've been preaching all year that the game is won in the paint. That finally caught up to us."

Darren Watkins and Jerome Frink took turns steering Foreman away from the basket, one reason he was 11-for-29 (37.9 percent) from the field. As a team, Salisbury State shot just 37.0 percent from the field.

Jersey City State gave up only a handful of easy baskets, and the Sea Gulls were 2 for 21 from three-point range. The perimeter lost much of its punch when sophomore guard Dameon Ross was charged with his third foul with 9:31 left in the first half.

Ross, a 24.7 points per game scorer who was limited to a season-low 11, played only five minutes in the first half, which finished with the Sea Gulls trailing 47-41. The Gothic Knights made only 9 of 18 free throws in the first half, and their poor shooting at the line in the second half (19 for 37) kept alive Salisbury State's hopes for another emotional comeback.

The Sea Gulls, who rallied to beat Kean (N.J.) State and Salem (Mass.) State in their first two NCAA tournament games, scored seven straight points to pull within 53-52 with 13:48 remaining. Coach Charles Brown's Gothic Knights reasserted themselves, however, and a 9-0 spurt that began two minutes later gave them a 69-57 lead. Jersey City State's lead floated between 10 and 17 points in the last 10 minutes.

Jersey City State had six players in double figures, with 25-year-old guard Ed Baum leading the way with 21 points. Watkins, a 6-foot-5 senior forward, had 18 points and five rebounds, and freshman guard Stefan Beck had 15.

Lambert knew coming in that the Gothic Knights had proven themselves against tougher competition than the Sea Gulls faced during the regular season. The Gothic Knights ruled the New Jersey Athletic Conference, which sent two other teams to the 40-team NCAA field. They're returning to the Final Four for the first time since 1986.

Junior forward Ed Farrell had 11 points for the Sea Gulls, who were held 18 points below their scoring average. They were playing their 10th straight game at the Maggs Center, where they lost for the first time since January 1991. Salisbury State's only other loss this season came in their second game, at Hampden-Sydney.

JERSEY CITY STATE -- Cannady 0-3 3-9 0, King 2-4 3-9 7, Carson 1-1 0-0 2, Beck 4-8 4-6 15, Waddleton 3-7 5-14 12, Baum 8-10 5-14 21, McKevitt 0-1 2-2 2, Watkins 6-13 5-6 18, Frink 3 -6 4-4 10, Flournoy 0-0 0-0 0, Rooney 4-11 0-0 10, Nelson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 31-65 28-55 97.

SALISBURY STATE -- Jarrett 0-1 0-0 0, Evans 0-1 0-1 0, Grebowsky 2-8 3-4 8, Wolfe 1-2 0-0 2, Barnes 0-0 0-0 0, Ross 5-16 0-0 11, Cromer 3-8 3-3 9, Williams 0-0 0-0 0, Farrell 4-4 4-6 12, Foreman 11-29 7-12 29, Gosweiler 3-6 2-2 8, Zdrojewski 1-6 2 -2 4. Totals 30-81 21-30 83.

Halftime--Jersey City State 47, Salisbury State 41. 3-point goals--JC 7- 16 (Beck 3-5, Rooney 2-4, Watkins 1-2, Waddleton 1-5, Cannady 0-1); SS 2-21 ( Grebowsky 1-5, Ross 1-8, Zdrojewski 0-4, Foreman 0-3, Cromer 0-1). Rebounds--JC 51 (King, Nelson 6); SS 50 (Foreman 17). Assists--JC 17 (Waddleton 5); SS 13 ( Ross, Zdrojewski 3). Total fouls--JC 28; SS 32. Fouled out--McKevitt, Nelson, Farrell. A--1,950.

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