February 20, 2010

Spartans Drop Regular Season Finale; Now Must Take to the Road for the CAC Tournament

ST. MARY’S CITY, MD – York College sophomore guard Dija Mitchell (Bel Air, Md./Mercy) was a hot 6-for-9 from the floor in Saturday’s game for the Spartans but unfortunately, her final shot of the day missed the mark as the Green and White dropped a 61-59 decision at St. Mary’s College in St. Mary’s City, MD. The loss knocks the Spartans to fifth-seed, as they must now take to the road on Tuesday for the opening round of the 2010 CAC Tournament.

York concludes the regular season with a mark of 11-14 overall and 7-9 in the CAC while the Seahawks, who swept the Spartans in the regular season, improves to 9-14 overall and 8-7 in the league.

The Spartans found themselves down early before taking a 10-8 lead on a Mitchell jumper with 11:43 left in the first. The game would go back and forth over the next six minutes. That span would feature five ties and four lead changes with the fifth tie of the first half coming at 17 with 7:04 left. The Seahawks then fashioned a 14-5 run that turned the tie game into a 31-23 lead with 2:49 left before the break. Mitchell scored four of the final six points of the half as the hosts took a 33-27 lead to the intermission.

York opened the half with a three pointer from April Sparkman (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) in what kicked off a tightly contested second half. That triple trimmed the Seahawk lead to three but the Seahawks quickly pushed their advantage back to seven. The St. Mary’s lead vacillated between three and eight points until the final two minutes of the game.

With the Seahawks leading by four, forward Jaimie Sapp (Bluemont, Va./Loudon Valley) cashed in a jumper with 1:18 left, drawing York to within two at 59-57. Mitchell continued her outstanding day by tying the game on a lay up with 54 seconds left in regulation. Seahawk senior standout Steph Saint-Aubin won the game for the Seahawks with a lay up with 15 seconds left in the game. Mitchell had a shot to tie the game at the horn but her shot couldn’t hit the mark as York dropped their regular season finale.

Mitchell led the Spartans with her 18 points including two threes and a strong 4-for-5 performance from the free throw line. She also had six of York’s 11 steals in the game. Sapp contributed 12 points, eight rebounds, and three blocked shots while Sparkman chipped in with 11 points, eight rebounds, three assists, a pair of blocked shots and a steal in her 40 minutes of work. Senior Jamie Polan (York, Pa./West York) was the fourth Spartan in double figures with 10 points.

Jamie Roberts had a monster game for the Seahawks as she poured in a game-high 19 points to go along with her game-high 10 rebounds. Taylor Petrisko added 12 points and nine rebounds while senior Alex Wenger had 10 points and eight rebounds.

The Seahawks hammered York on the glass, holding a 48-37 rebounding edge. That helped St. Mary’s accumulate a 17-10 edge in second chance points and a 24-20 margin in points in the paint.

The Spartans also were careless with the ball, committing 22 turnovers, which the hosts turned into 26 points. St. Mary’s wasn’t much better in taking care of the basketball as they committed 21 miscues but it only cost them 14 points.

York shot 37.7% from the floor but were sharp from downtown, nailing 7-of-16 (43.8%) from distance. The Spartans were a paltry 6-for-10 from the free throw line in the game.

St. Mary’s didn’t shoot the ball from the field very well either as they made just 36.4% of their attempts from the floor including 4-of-11 (36.4%) from three. The Seahawks did drain 9-of-12 (75%) from the charity stripe.

York will return to St. Mary’s on Tuesday evening for a 7:00 pm CAC first round game. The Seahawks are the tournament’s fourth seed while York is fifth. The winner will travel to the top seed on Thursday in the league semifinals.

Dija Mitchell photo courtesy of Mike Zortman