Hood beats No. 20 Salisbury
Blazers regained lead midway through second half and never let go
FREDERICK, Md. -- Hood (4-1, 1-0 CAC) won its first game in program history against a ranked opponent downing No. 20 Salisbury (4-1, 0-1 CAC) 67-55.
Salisbury lost its first game of the season. Cameron Cook led all scorers in the game with 19 as he continued his strong start to his sophomore campaign. Junior Justin Stone also had his best scoring game of the young season tallying 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting and also hauled in eight boards. Freshman Adrien Straughn also had a very productive game for the Blazers as he came up just short of a triple-double with eight points, nine rebounds, and eight assists.
Hood started out fast as it got off to a 10-0 lead to begin the game. It took Salisbury nearly six minutes to score its first points of the game with free throws by Jason Nwoso. Hood ended the first half with a 19-5 run, including a 30 foot heave by senior guard Ramon Smith that gave Hood a 37-22 halftime lead.
The jubilation did not last long for the home crowd as Salisbury dug out of its first half hole and made just about everything to start the second half. In the first nine minutes of the second half Salisbury scored more points than the entire first half. Mike Maczko hit two three-pointers in back-to-back possessions to help key the run. Salisbury outscored Hood 24-8 for the first nine minutes of the second half and took the lead for the first time in the game at 46-44 with 11:12 remaining in the game.
Cook made one of his four threes on the game to retake the lead at 47-46 and Hood would not relinquish it the rest of the game. Stone had a sweet reverse layup to continue Hood's run but the Blazers would win the game on the defensive end. Salisbury only scored nine points in the last 11 minutes of the game as the Blazers' defense stifled the Sea Gulls' attack.
Trent Epps paced Salisbury scoring 17 points, but he was the only player to reach double figures. Hood continued to hit shots as Straughn seemed to put the game out of reach with a floater in the lane to give Hood a 64-51 lead with just over a minute remaining. Hood finished the game with a few free throws to get the 67-55 victory.
Lost in all the madness of the game was this was Hood's first conference victory of the year. The Blazers wanted to send a message to the rest of the conference with a strong showing against a ranked Salisbury side and they did not disappoint. When asked how it felt to beat the Sea Gulls, Stone said, "It feels great. As a college basketball player that is what you play for. It was even better knowing that they had beaten the number one team in the land as well."