BALTIMORE, MD – The Johns Hopkins Blue Jays women’s basketball team used a relentless offensive rebounding attack to best the York College Spartans 75-66 in a non-conference battle in Baltimore on Sunday afternoon. The Blue Jays improve to 3-1 overall while the Spartans, losers of two straight, fall to 3-3 for the campaign.
Scoring was at a premium early in the contest as the two teams combined for just nine points in the first five minutes of the game. The Spartans went on a quick 6-0 spurt keyed by a Khadija Mitchell (Bel Air, Md./Mercy) triple and an April Sparkman (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) three point play as they took a 9-8 lead with 13:37 left in the half. That would be York’s lone lead as the Blue Jays snapped off a 13-1 run to take a 21-10 advantage. York responded with a quick 7-0 dash to cut the lead to four but Britni Lonesome buried a triple to increase the lead back to seven. York again trimmed the lead to four on a Gayle Exley (Spring City, Pa./Owen J. Roberts) free throw but the Blue Jays scored 14 of the next 21 points to open up an 11-point edge. York again cut the lead to four on a Mitchell three point play but the Blue Jays closed out the half with four straight points to take a 46-38 lead to the break.
The Blue Jays recorded 13 offensive rebounds in the opening 20 minutes, which led to eight second-chance points. The Blue Jays bench got 15 points in the opening stanza to help lead them to the eight point halftime edge.
Hopkins opened the second 20 minutes with an 8-2 run, extending their lead to 14 just 3:22 into the second half. The Blue Jays pushed the lead to as many as 16 on two separate occasions with the second time coming at 69-53 with 5:52 remaining.
Much to their credit the young Spartans continued to battle the veteran Blue Jays. York cut the lead to 10 on a Caitlin Byrne (Westminster, Md./Westminster) jumper with 2:24 left in regulation. After a Hopkins bucket, the Spartans scored the final three points of the game to provide for the host’s final nine-point margin of victory.
Lyndsay Burton led the Blue Jays with a double-double of 20 points and 16 rebounds. She was 9-for-18 from the floor while she drained both of her free throw attempts in the win. Lonesome was another Blue Jay in double figures with 15 points including a trio of shots from deep while Anastasia Wynn chipped in with 11 points. Monica Mitchell pulled in 12 rebounds while she also had eight points.
Sparkman led the Spartans with 21 points, as she was 8-for-18 from the floor while she was 5-for-8 from the free throw line. Sparkman pulled down five rebounds to tie Exley for team-high honors. Mitchell was the other Spartan in double figures as she notched 15 points. Exley added seven points to go along with her five boards.
The Blue Jays finished the game holding a gigantic 47-26 bulge in rebounding. Hopkins had 21 offensive rebounds in the game and finished the contest with 12 second-chance points.
York shot 41.8% for the contest including 37.5% from three. The Spartans converted 14-of-19 from the charity stripe, good for a 73.6% conversion rate. JHU shot 44.6% from the floor while they made 6-of-18 from distance. Hopkins went a blistering 11-for-13 (84.6%) from the free throw line.
The Spartans return to action on Wednesday, December 9 when they host Gallaudet University in their Capital Athletic Conference opener. Tip time is set for 6:00 pm at Wolf Gymnasium.
April Sparkman photo by Scott Guise