OSWEGO, New York – The Baldwin Wallace University men's basketball team defeated Salisbury (Md.) University in the first round of the NCAA National Tournament by a score of 75-61 inside Laker Hall.
BW (21-8) was led by senior three-time All-Ohio Athletic Conference and two-time Academic All-OAC guard Jay Battle (Gahanna/Lincoln) who poured in a game-high 18 points with seven rebounds. Junior guard Zach Cebula (Brunswick) tallied a career-high 15 points while senior All-OAC guard guard Kyle Nader (Vermilion) and sophomore guard Luke Schaefer (Medina) recorded 12.
Salisbury (19-9) was led by sophomore guard Mike Ward who marked 13. Senior guard Marquis Robinson threw in 12 while senior forward Chase Kumor recorded 10.
After both teams tied at two and five, BW seized an 8-5 lead at 15:04 off a Battle layup. Salisbury responded with a 7-0 run to give them a 12-8 lead with 12:27 left in the first. BW exploded for a 16-5 run that included four long balls, three from Cebula, to give the Yellow Jackets a 24-17 lead with 7:14 left in the half. Salisbury cut the lead to 29-27 with a 10-5 run before sophomore guard Matt Dimitrijevs (Broadview Heights/Brecksville-Broadview Heights) knocked down back-to-back threes to give BW a 35-27 lead at 2:33. The Seagulls nailed two free-throws before the half and went into the locker room trailing BW, 35-29.
BW opened the second half with a 7-2 run that got started with a junior forward Tyler Colombo (Strasburg/Tuscarawas Central Catholic) spinning layup, as Salisbury called a timeout at 15:43 to slow the Yellow Jackets momentum. BW extended their 42-31 lead to 52-37 off a Battle step back jumper at 11:50. The Seagulls trimmed the lead to 54-47 off a 10-2 spurt, before Cebula sunk his fifth three of the game, giving the Yellow Jackets a 57-47 lead with 8:26 remaining in the second half. Both squads scored six points over the following three minutes, until Salisbury's guard Mike Ward drilled a three to bring the score to 63-56 at the 3:40 mark. BW closed the final minutes with a 12-5 run to advance to the second round of the NCAA National Tournament.
BW will play host Oswego (N.Y.) College tomorrow at 7 p.m inside Laker Hall.