January 9, 2013

Sea Gulls Extend Spartan Slide to Three

YORK, PA – The York College women's basketball team got outscored 37-24 in the second half as they fell to Salisbury University 66-53 in Capital Athletic Conference action on Wednesday night in York.

The setback was the third straight for the Spartans to fall to 11-3 after their school-record 11-0 start. The loss is also the first conference setback for the Green and White as they fall to 2-1 in the league. The win pushes the Sea Gulls over the .500 mark as they stand at 7-6 overall while they are now 2-0 in the league.

The script for the Spartan loss was much the same as the previous two setbacks. York led just before the half only to give up a late bucket and head to the halftime break tied. The second half then featured a Sea Gull squad that took the play to the Green and White. In their last three games, York has been outscored by a combined 31 points in the second half.

In Wednesday night's second stanza, the Spartans led 33-32 two and a half minutes into the half. The Sea Gulls proceeded to fashion a sustained 14-2 run as they took a 47-35 lead. It was a run that covered almost exactly six minutes and it was also a run that York would never recover from. The Green and White trimmed the Salisbury lead to 11 on four different occasions but they never really threatened their guests over the final 12 minutes of the game.

Salisbury took the play to the Green and White early as the Sea Gulls scored the first six points of the game. York never clicked offensively as they didn't get their first points until Aja Wallpher (Ellicott City, Md./Seton Keough) hit a triple 4:24 into the game.

York battled back to take their first lead of the game on a Kristen Haley (Silver Spring, Md./Georgetown Visitation) jumper at the 9:02 mark. The Spartans would eventually extend their lead to three twice in the first half, the second time coming on a nice Kelsey Murphy (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) lay up with 3:46 left before the half. The next 3:35 featured four ties and three lead changes including Becca Himes lay up at the horn that tied the game at 29 heading to the intermission.

Courtney McManus torched the Spartans off the bench for the Gulls. She tossed in a game-high 19 points as she went 7-for-11 from the floor and a red-hot 5-for-7 from beyond the arc. McManus scored 14 of her 19 points in the second half. Anna Hackett and Katie McGahagan each added 13 points to the Sea Gull attack. Hackett also recorded six rebounds, four assists and two steals while McGahagan pulled in a team-high tying eight rebounds with three assists and a pair of steals. Julia McLaughlin was the fourth Gull in double figures with 10 points.

Junior Brittany Hicks (Dover, Pa./York Catholic) led York with her ninth double-double of the year with 15 points and 13 rebounds. She also had five assists, three steals and a blocked shot in her 36 minutes of work. Sophomore Kailee Knight (Crofton, Md./South River) was the other Spartan in double figures with 11 points. Haley tied Hicks for the game-high honors on the glass with 13 caroms while she also had eight points, two assists, three steals, and a pair of blocked shots.

Salisbury shot 43.6% from the field including 48% in the second half. The Gulls were also very efficient from three as they went 6-for-10, buoyed by McManus' 5-for-7 mark. Salisbury converted a steady 12-of-17 from the stripe.

York's shooting woes continued as they shot just 32.2% from the floor including a frigid 2-for-20 (10%) from three. The Spartans also struggled from the free throw line as they went just 13-for-24 (54.2%) from the line.

York is 61-for-176 (34.6%) from the floor during their skid. They have converted just 12-of-57 (21%) from three and the slump has extended to the free throw line where the normally reliable Spartans are 22-for-42 (52.3%) from the stripe.

York finished the game with a 42-38 edge on the glass including 19 offensive rebounds. Those 19 offensive caroms led to 15 second-chance points.

The road doesn't get any easier for the Spartans as a white-hot Marymount University Saints squad comes to Wolf Gym Saturday to close out the Spartans' seven game home stand. Marymount has won seven straight including a 15-point victory over defending CAC Champion Mary Washington on Wednesday night. The Saints sit all alone in first place in the conference at 3-0 in the league and 11-3 overall. Tip time at Wolf Gym is set for 1:00 pm.

Brittany Hicks photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (www.sharpedgefoto.com)