Spartans Head to Break a Perfect 8-0
DOVER, DEL – The York College women's basketball team remained perfect on the season as the Spartans rolled to a 67-35 Capital Athletic Conference victory at Wesley College on Saturday afternoon at Wentworth Gymnasium in Dover, Delaware.
The Spartans improve to 8-0 overall and 2-0 in the CAC while the Wolverines fall to 2-6 overall and 0-2 in the league. York is currently ranked 12th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and 14th in the d3hoops.com Poll. The 8-0 start is the best start to a season in the program's history.
The game was tied at five early before the Spartans started to pull away from the Wolverines. Juniors Kelsey Murphy (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) and Kristen Haley (Silver Spring, Md./Georgetown Visitation) hit threes on consecutive possessions to give the visitors a 11-5 lead with 13:03 left in the first half.
Wesley got to within five at 15-10 but York then outscored the Wolverines 21-6 over the final ten minutes of the half, giving the Spartans a 36-16 lead to the break.
The Wolverines edged closer after the break as they trimmed York's advantage to 13 courtesy of a quick 6-0 spurt. Haley snapped the run with a lay up as York got back on track. After a Jazmine Miller triple cut the Spartan lead to 43-29 with 11:09 left, the Spartans went off from beyond the arc. Murphy started the big run with a three, the first of four straight makes from distance. That 12-0 run pushed York's lead to 55-29 and was stopped by a pair of Heather Fuller free throws. York then scored the next five points, increasing the lead to 60-31. The Spartans eventually settled for the 32-point win, their biggest margin of victory of the year.
Haley led all scorers as she tied a career-high with 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the floor including 1-of-2 from three. Haley also went 4-for-5 from the charity stripe. She pulled in six rebounds and also had a blocked shot in her 33 minutes of action. Brittany Hicks (Dover, Pa./York Catholic) notched her conference-leading sixth double-double of the year with 11 points and 11 rebounds in 30 minutes of play. Murphy was the third Spartan in double figures with 12 points as she canned four three's in the win. Murphy added four rebounds, four steals and one assist.
Junior point guard Aja Wallpher (Ellicott City, Md./Seton Keough) had another dynamic floor game to lead the Spartan offense. Wallpher had a season-high 10 assists with no turnovers in 35 minutes of work. She also had seven rebounds and three steals. Wallpher currently leads all of Division III in steals with 38 for the year.
Fuller paced Wesley with 12 points and a game-high 17 rebounds in 34 minutes of action. She was 5-for-10 from the floor and 2-for-2 from the line. Fuller also had three blocks and a steal. Miller added 11 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Miller was harassed into 4-of-12 shooting in the loss.
The Wolverines' 35 points was just one point above the Spartans' best defensive effort of the season as they held Roanoke to 34 points back on November 17 in Greensboro, NC.
York shot 39.7% from the field while they had another strong game from behind the arc as they canned 8-of-20 (40%). The Spartans went 13-for-19 (68.4%) from the stripe. Wesley shot just 26.3% from the floor and 21.4% (3-for-14) from downtown. The Wolverines attempted just four free throws as they made two.
Wesley outrebounded the Spartans 42-41 but York forced 17 turnovers. The Spartans had their second straight game with just eight turnovers as they have done a fantastic job of taking care of the ball recently.
The Spartans are now off until Saturday, December 29 when they host Wheaton College in the opening round of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. Tip time at Charles Wolf Gymnasium is set for 6:00 pm. The Spartans will unveil their new "Pink" uniforms and the tournament benefits the American Cancer Society.
Kristen Haley photo courtesy of Scott Guise - Director of Athletic Communications