January 25, 2012

Wallpher's Double-Double Leads Spartans Big Win

YORK, PA – The York College women's basketball used a tremendous defense effort to down the Frostburg State University Bobcats 69-33 in Capital Athletic Conference action on Wednesday night in York.

The Spartans, winners of five straight, improve to 15-3 overall and remain in second place in the conference with a mark of 9-1. The Bobcats fall to 5-14 overall and 3-7 in the league.

The Spartans started off the game ice cold from the field as they began the contest a chilly 1-for-14 from the floor. Fortunately for the Spartans, their defense was hounding the Bobcats into an equally bad offensive shooting percentage. The Spartans finally got their second field goal of the game at the 13:01 mark and that kick started a 12-4 run as the Green and White lead grew to 10 at 16-6.

The Bobcats trimmed the York lead to eight on a pair of RJ James free throws with 8:19 remaining in the opening half. The Spartans responded by scoring 19 of the final 25 points of the half to take a 35-14 lead to the break. It is the second consecutive game that York has allowed just 14 points to an opponent in the first half.

After York's 1-for-14 start, the Spartans made 12-of-21 to close out the half. The Spartans also limited the Bobcats to just 25% (6-for-24) shooting from the floor in the opening 20 minutes of play.

The second half began with York blitzing the Bobcats with a 9-2 run as senior April Sparkman was responsible for seven of the run's nine points. Frostburg cut their deficit back to 19 on a pair of Elizabeth Erickson buckets but York again responded, this time with an 11-1 spurt as the lead grew to 29. York's advantage would not fall below 27 the rest of the way. The 36-point margin of victory is their third-biggest of the year, nine points behind the 45-point win at Wesley on November 30.

The Spartans placed four players in double figures but it may have been the one player that didn't score in 33 minutes that had the biggest impact on the win. Sophomore point guard Aja Wallpher tied her career-high with 13 assists while she also had a career-high 12 rebounds. The double-double is the first of her Spartan career. Wallpher, who is second in the nation in assists at 7.2 helpers per game, also had five steals and just one turnover in a nearly flawless floor game. Sparkman led York in scoring as the senior poured in 19 points to go along with nine rebounds, a steal, and a blocked shot. Sophomore forward Kristen Haley, the reigning CAC Player of the Week, recorded her 15th career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds in her 27 minutes of work. Sophomore Brittany Hicks added 13 points, seven rebounds, and two blocked shots in her 29 minutes of action. Freshman Taylor Santor gave the Spartans a huge lift off the bench early in the first half as the guard poured in 11 points in just nine minutes. Santor was 4-for-5 from the floor and 3-for-3 from three in the opening half.

Erickson led the Bobcats as she was the lone visitor to reach double figures. She tallied 16 points to go along with six rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals. Erickson was 7-for-19 from the floor including 1-for-1 from three and 1-for-2 from the line.

The Spartans put the defensive clamps on the Bobcats as they held their guests to just 22.4% shooting for the game. That is York's best field goal percentage defensive effort of the year and is the seventh time this year that York has limited an opponent to less than 30% from the floor. The 33 points also marks a season-best for the Spartan defense, eclipsing the 35 points they allowed against Goucher on November 22.

York finished the game shooting 40.9% for the game. Take out the 1-for-14 start and the Spartan shooting percentage climbs to 50% (26-for-52) for the game. The Spartans went 8-of-24 (33.3%) from three while they attempted just 10 free throws, making seven of them.

The Spartans finished the contest with a 19-rebound advantage as they notched 49 caroms including 20 offensive boards. That led to a 19-2 margin in second chance points. The Green and White also had a 30-18 edge in points in the paint. York forced 17 Frostburg turnovers, which they converted into 22 points. The Spartans had 13 turnovers, which led to nine Bobcat points.

The Spartans return to action on Saturday afternoon when they host Hood College in a Capital Athletic Conference contest. Game time is set for 4:00 pm at the Grumbacher Center. 

Aja Wallpher photo courtesy of Theresa Dark - York College Athletic Communications Student Photographer.