December 1, 2012

#15 Spartans Open Conference Play with Solid Road Victory

ST. MARY'S CITY, MD – The 15th ranked York College women's basketball team used a big second half to earn a 62-48 Capital Athletic Conference road victory at St. Mary's College on Saturday afternoon in the conference opener for both squads.

The win keeps the Spartans perfect at 6-0 while they are now 1-0 in conference play. The Seahawks suffer their first setback as they fall to 4-1 overall and 0-1 in the league.

The 6-0 start ties the best start in school history, matching the 2007-08 squad's opening run.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair as neither team really gained any significant momentum. The half featured three ties and five lead changes before the Spartans took the lead for good on a Loreta Tonuzi (Hazlett, N.J./Raritan) three with 2:49 left in the opening half.

The Green and White came out of the break and outscored their hosts 12-4 to open up a 40-30 lead. Tonuzi hit another three at the 12:53 mark to cap the run as the Spartans gained control of the contest.

The Seahawks cut the Spartan lead to eight but York responded with eight straight points to push the lead to 16 midway through the half. St. Mary's trimmed the Spartan advantage to 10 on a Bridget Wilkins lay up with 5:07 remaining. Junior Brittany Hicks (Dover, Pa./York Catholic) canned a triple to kick start 10-2 run that pushed the York lead to 18 with just over two minutes left. The Seahawks scored the final four points of the game, providing for the Spartans' 14-point margin of victory.

Hicks returned to the Spartan line up in impressive fashion after missing Tuesday's win over Goucher. She recorded her fifth straight double-double of the year with 17 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Hicks was 5-for-10 from the floor including 2-for-2 from three. She drilled 5-of-6 from the charity stripe for York. Junior Aja Wallpher (Ellicott City, Md./Seton Keough) added 13 points, a season-high eight steals, six rebounds, and three assists in the win.

Junior Kristen Haley (Silver Spring, Md./Georgetown Visitation) was the third Spartan in double figures with 12 points while she also had four blocked shots, three rebounds, and two steals. Sophomore Kailee Knight (Crofton, Md./South River) tallied a career-high eight points while she also pulled in nine rebounds and blocked four shots.

Sophie Pruden paced St. Mary's with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds in 28 minutes of action. Pruden was 6-for-17 from the floor while she was 0-for-2 from the stripe. Joanna Murray, the Seahawks' leading scorer coming into the contest at over 17 points per game, was held to 11 points as she was 4-for-12 from floor including 1-for-5 from three.

The Spartans held the Seahawks to 48 points after St. Mary's entered the contest averaging 81.5 points per game. St. Mary's shot 31.8% from the floor while they went just 2-for-13 from distance. York shot 42.3% from the field while they were an efficient 44.4% (4-for-9) from three. York converted 14-of-18 (77.8%) from the line while St. Mary's was 4-for-7 (57.1%) from the stripe.

York committed a season-high 26 turnovers in the game, overturning the trend of the last three games when York had averaged just 12 turnovers per game. The Spartans forced 21 turnovers in the win, converting those miscues into 21 points. York's mistakes cost them 23 St. Mary's points. The Green and White outscored St. Mary's 32-20 in the paint for the game.

The Spartans return to action on Tuesday when they host Franklin & Marshall College in a non-conference clash in York. Tip time is set for 6:00 pm.

Brittany Hicks photo courtesy of David Sinclair (www.davidsinclair.org)