ARLINGTON, VA - The York College women's basketball team remained unbeaten with a 70-63 Capital Athletic Conference victory over defending conference champion Marymount on Wednesday night in Arlington.
The win establishes a new school record for victories to start a season as the Green and White is now 12-0 overall and 5-0 in conference action. The Saints fall to 7-5 overall and suffer their first conference loss, as they now stand 3-1 in league play. The Spartans are currently ranked 14th in the USA Today/WBCA Coaches Poll and 15th in the D3hoops.com National Poll.
The night was also a record-breaking one for senior guard Kelsey Murphy (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) as she became the Spartans' all-time leader in three-pointers made. Murphy tied former Spartan standout Heather Kessler with her first three pointer of the game with 17:01 in the second half and then broke the record less than seven minutes later when she hit a triple at the 10:51 mark.
The opening half was a statistical anomaly as York was outrebounded 21-2 but led 32-27 at the break. The Spartans didn't get their first rebound, an offensive team rebound, until there was 2:05 remaining in the stanza. Freshman Sam Hruz (White Marsh, Md./Mercy) got the Spartans' only rebound credited to a player in the first half as she collected a defensive board with 21 seconds left in the half.
Despite the large disparity on the glass, the Spartan defensive effort was again strong. York forced 18 Marymount turnovers in the first 20 minutes, converting those miscues into 21 points.
York sprinted out to early 10-2 lead but the Saints battled back to take an 18-17 lead with 9:48 left in the first half. The Saints' only lead of the night last 17 seconds because York's Karli McFatridge (York, Pa./York Catholic) banged home a triple at the top of the key to give York a 20-18 lead. York would grow the lead to eight twice over the next eight minutes but Aileen Maknati hit a three at the horn to trim York's halftime advantage to five at 32-27.
The Spartans came out of the break with an 8-2 run as the Green and White pushed their lead to 11 just under four minutes into the second half. The Saints trimmed York's lead to seven on a pair of Daja Belt free throws but threes from Jess Selby (Upper Marlboro, Md./Calverton) and Murphy pushed York's lead back into double figures. The Spartan lead grew to 16 on a Brittany Hicks (Dover, Pa./York Catholic) lay up with 6:28 remaining. The Saints made a spirited 13-3 run to cut York's lead to six at 60-54. However, the Spartans converted 8-of-10 at the free throw line over the final 34 seconds to preserve the win.
Hicks led the Spartans with 15 points, as the reigning CAC Player of the Week was a very efficient 6-for-9 from the floor while she also made 3-of-4 at the stripe. Hicks also had five second half rebounds and a pair of steals in her 31 minutes of work. On her record-breaking night, Murphy poured in a season-high 14 points, as she was 3-for-6 from the floor including 2-for-3 from three. Murphy also tied a career-high with her 6-for-6 performance from the free throw line. The senior also had four assists and three steals. Selby contributed 13 points including a trio of threes while senior Kristen Haley (Silver Spring, Md./Georgetown Visitation) was the fourth Spartan in double figures with 12 points while she pulled down a team-high six rebounds. Senior point guard Aja Wallpher (Ellicott City, Md./Seton Keough) dished out a game-high seven assists while she also had two steals for YCP.
Senior guard Katelyn Fischer led the Saints with 16 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals in her 40 minutes of work. Belt added 14 points as she went to the line 13 times in the game, converting eight of those chances. Maknati added 13 points while Kievanna Lacey was the fourth Saint in double figures with 11 points. Felicia Adomako pulled in a game-high 11 rebounds while she also had seven points.
The Spartans shot a season-high 50% from the floor while they also shot 7-for-17 (41.2%) from three. York was a solid 15-for-20 (75%) from the stripe.
The Saints shot 46.3% from the floor for the game. That is the highest opponent shooting percentage the Spartans have surrendered this year. The Saints went 6-for-15 (40%) from three while they converted 19-of-26 (63.2%) from the charity stripe.
The Saints finished the game with a 37-18 margin in rebounding buoyed by the huge first half margin. The squads both had 16 rebounds in the second half. Despite the huge rebounding difference, York held a 14-2 advantage in second-chance points.
The difference for York was the 24 forced turnovers in the game as they turned those Saints errors into 30 points. Conversely, York had just 12 turnovers in the game.
The Spartans return to Wolf Gymnasium for the first time since December 7 when they host Salisbury University on Saturday afternoon. Tip time is set for 1:00 pm. At halftime of the game, the Spartans will do their second-annual Teddy Bear toss benefiting Pediatric Cancer patients. Fans are encouraged to bring Teddy Bears to throw onto the court at halftime.