Foley scores 34 in win over NDES
Patrick Foley’s only 3-point shot during the halftime break was off target. But for Foley, it didn’t seem to matter. And unfortunately for Notre Dame of East Stroudsburg, it was too late.
The senior point guard scored a career-high 34 points and hit nine 3-pointers to help Salisbury (4-3 overall, 3-1 Colonial League) secure a 64-49 over Notre Dame East Stroudsburg on Saturday afternoon. It was the Falcons’ third road win of the young season after winning just three away games in the past two seasons combined.
“My teammates were doing a great job of driving and kicking,” said Foley, who hit seven of his 3-pointerts in the first half. “I was just the one who happened to knock them down.”
Foley missed just two 3-pointers all game, one of which was a last-second half-court shot to end the third quarter. He scored 24 points in the first half to help the Falcons lead 17-16 after the first quarter and 38-27 going into intermission.
The Spartans adjusted and played a diamond-and-one defense that had a defender follow Foley at all times on offense. And while his shots were limited over the final two quarters, he still knocked down his shots when open.
Notre Dame clawed within five points in the third quarter and trailed 49-40 late in the frame before Foley finally got away from his defender. He knocked down a 3-pointer in transition that put Salisbury back in front by double digits. Then on the next possession, a midrange jumper put the visitors ahead 54-40.
“We did a great job against the zone getting him the ball in spots where he could knock down shots,” Salisbury head coach Jason Weaver said. “The passes were good, too…Everything was right in the pocket for him to shoot and knock shots down. I think obviously they were so worried about him at halftime that it opened up some other opportunities for other guys.”
Quinn Warmkessel and Quintin Stephens were able to take advantage of those opportunities in the second half. Warmkessel scored seven of his 11 points in the third, while Stephens was able to attack the hoop more with an open paint.
Stephens and Trey Weber (nine points) combined for five free throws in the fourth quarter as the Falcons used the clock to their advantage.
“We haven’t won a lot lately, and these guys have to learn how to win,” Weaver said. “If you’re up by 14 with four minutes to go…we ran two minutes off the clock. We didn’t need to score again at that point. We could have just made layups and foul shots, and pulled it back out to make them scramble a little bit.”
And for good measure, Foley took and hit his final 3-pointer of the game with 2:29 remaining on the clock. It wasn’t a shot the Falcons needed, but when given the space, Foley connected to give his team a 59-46 advantage.
“Hopefully we proved to ourselves that we can handle the ball and run some clock,” Weaver said. “It’s going to be something we’re going to need to do. We have to keep learning how to win.”
The win helped Salisbury bounce back after a tough 50-40 loss to Wilson last week. It was a game in which the Falcons led early and trailed by just four points in the final minute of play. And much like against Notre Dame, it was the Falcons’ shooters knocking down shots that helped Salisbury jump in front again.
“We got out to a quick start, and then we just needed to work on taking care of the ball,” Foley said. “We turned it over a lot.”
“We’ve been seeing a lot of zone lately,” Weaver said. “We’ve seen four straight games with zone. We have guys that can knock down shots when they’re open.”