BEVERLY – Since 2004 when the Endicott and Salem State women first met on the court the Gulls had only won twice. Now make that three times after a thrilling, 79-74 victory over the Lady Vikings in a game that wasn’t decided until the final seconds when Gulls senior captain Samantha Crough made two foul shots.
Crough had a game-high 30 points as well as seven rebounds, four blocks, and a steal. Endicott improved to 3-1 with the victory and will be off until after Thanksgiving.
“Crough is a great player, and she always wants the ball,” said Endicott coach Brittany Hutchinson. “She does it all for us, and she saved us early on when we weren’t hitting our shots. We’re coming off a loss to Bowdoin, and this is a huge win for us. It’s nice to be going into the break on a winning note.
“This was a very good game, and we love playing Salem State. They’re always tough and come right at you. We weren’t ready for them at the start of the game, and were settling for a lot of outside shots. After that we executed our offense well, moved the ball around, drove to the hoop, and made our free throws down the stretch. Our man to man defense was tough and gave them problems.”
The Lady Vikings shot out to a 15 point lead after Jess Kuzmickas hit a three-point shot, but Endicott answered with an 11-0 run to get right back in the game led by Crough, who made three baskets during that span.
“They showed man-to-man and had good pressure,” said Salem State coach Michelle Cunningham. “They’re long and lean; they attacked and we got lazy on defense. We didn’t move our feet enough, and got into foul trouble.”