February 1, 2012

Hicks and Haley Lead York Past St. Mary's in CAC Action

ST. MARY'S CITY, MD – The York College women's basketball team ran their win streak to seven with a 60-52 Capital Athletic Conference win at St. Mary's College on Wednesday night in St. Mary's City, MD.

The Spartans improve to 17-3 overall and 11-1 in the conference while the Seahawks fall to 8-13 overall and 6-6 in the league.

The first half was much like the opening 20 minutes of the team's first meeting on December 7. Neither team would be able to get any significant traction offensively as the biggest separation between the two teams was four points. That four point cushion came twice during the half as senior Brittany Percich drilled a three at the 10:53 mark to give York the 11-7 lead. The Spartan lead reached four again on a pair of April Sparkman free throws with 8:02 left in the half.

The Seahawks took a temporary 18-17 lead on a Marche Pearson lay up at the 2:32 mark but Sparkman converted a pair of free throws 22 seconds later to give the Spartans a lead as York's halftime advantage would eventually be 23-20.

The Seahawks came out of the break and quickly tied the game on a Raven Owens three just 31 seconds into the stanza. That started a string of back-and-forth play as there were three ties and three lead changes over the next five minutes of the game. The Seahawks took tied their largest lead of the game when Sophie Pruden hit a lay up at the 14:30 mark to give the hosts a 32-29 lead. The Spartans responded in impressive fashion as they put together a sustained 26-7 run that gave York a 55-39 lead with 6:09 left.

That's when it would get a little interesting for the Spartans. After York's run, the Seahawks pieced together an 11-0 run to draw to within five at 55-50 with 1:49 left. The Spartans got a huge bucket from point guard Aja Wallpher as she hit a turn around jumper with the shot clock expiring, putting York back up by seven with 51 ticks left. After a stop by the Spartan defense, Brittany Hicks canned a pair of huge free throws with 22 seconds left, pushing York's lead back to nine. The Seahawks got a cosmetic basket with six seconds left and Wallpher split a pair from the line with three seconds remaining to provide the final eight-point margin of victory for York.

Hicks paced the Spartans with her sixth double-double of the year as she had 14 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Fellow sophomore Kristen Haley led all scorers with 17 points as she was 7-for-16 from the floor including 2-for-4 from three and 1-for-2 from the line. Haley added five rebounds, two blocked shots and a steal in her 27 minutes of work. Wallpher was the third Spartan in double figures with 10 points while she also had seven steals and three rebounds. Wallpher, who leads the nation in assists, handed out seven dimes in the win.

Owens led the Seahawks with 14 points in her 33 minutes of work. The Spartan defense harassed her into 4-of-13 shooting from the floor including 3-of-8 from three. Shana Lewis added 10 points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal for the hosts. Myeisha Wallace pulled in eight rebounds to lead the Seahawks on the glass.

The Spartans held their ninth opponent of the year under 30% shooting as St. Mary's shot 27.1% from the field in the game. The Seahawks did have more success from three than the Spartans recent opponents as they went 4-for-15 (26.7%). St. Mary's made 16-of-22 (72.7%) from the stripe.

York shot 37.9% from the floor and 25% (3-for-12) from three. The Spartans went to the line 16 times and converted 13 attempts (81.3%).

York finished the game holding a 43-39 margin on the glass while they also had a 24-12 spread in points in the paint. York recorded 17 points off 16 St. Mary's miscues.

The Spartans will step out of conference for their final non-league tilt on Monday night when they host McDaniel College at Wolf Gymnasium. Tip time is scheduled for 7:00 pm.