November 21, 2009

Spartans Cap Great Weekend with Overtime Win

GRANTHAM, PA – The York College women’s basketball team capped a very successful weekend at the Messiah College/Wingate Hotel Invitational as they defeated the Washington College Shorewomen 77-73 in overtime on Saturday. The Spartans went 2-0 during the tournament as did the host Messiah Falcons.

The Spartans are now 3-1 while Washington falls to 0-2 with the setback.

York began the game with a 7-1 spurt as they seized control of the contest early. Washington worked their way back into the contest as they went on a 10-2 run to take an 11-9 lead. Over the next nine minutes, the lead for either team never got beyond four points. With the game tied at 23, the Spartans scored 10 of the final 12 points of the half to take the 33-25 lead at the intermission.

The Shorewomen wasted little time in cutting into the York lead just after the half. Washington tied the game at 34 just 2:31 into the second stanza. Again, the two teams went back and forth for an extended stretch of the half before the Shorewomen forged a 50-44 lead with 8:51 remaining in the half. That would be their largest lead of the game.

York worked their way back and took a one-point lead on a Khadija Mitchell (Bel Air, Md./Mercy) lay up with 5:41 left. Washington quickly went on a 6-0 run to take a 59-53 lead as it looked like the Shorewomen were going to put the Spartans away.

Junior April Sparkman (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) began the Spartan comeback with a deep three with 4:02 left, drawing York to within one. The Shorewomen pushed the lead back to four two more times in the next three minutes but York kept battling. Mitchell canned a huge triple with 49 seconds left to cut the York deficit to one at 63-62. The Spartans got a stop then had a final possession and a chance to win the game in regulation. York got the shot they wanted but a miss went right to junior captain Jaimie Sapp (Bluemont, Va./Loundon Valley) who was fouled with 2.7 seconds left. The forward made the first but missed the second. Sparkman corralled the rebound but couldn’t get a game-winning attempt off at the buzzer as the teams headed to an extra session.

In the overtime, foul trouble plagued the Shorewomen as they lost two players in regulation and then two more in overtime. The extra session began with more back and forth play. With 1:39 left in overtime and the game tied at 69, Sparkman converted a three-point play to give the Spartans the lead for good. Washington cut the lead to one on a pair of Maggie King charity tosses by a Gayle Exley (Spring City, Pa./Owen J. Roberts) three-point play and a pair of Mitchell free throws secured the win. The Shorewomen ended the game with just four players on the floor as four of their eight dressed players fouled out of the contest.

Sparkman earned a spot on the All-Tournament team as she poured in game-high 25 points and pulled in game-high 14 rebounds. She also had a pair of steals in the win. Mitchell continues to be strong for York as she added a Spartan career-high 19 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the floor including two threes while she was a strong 7-of-8 from the free throw line. Mitchell also had four rebounds, three assists and a trio of steals in her 34 minutes of work. Exley also played strong with eight points and a career-high 10 rebounds. Sapp added nine points and five rebounds in limited minutes as she battled foul trouble most of the day.

Jane O’Donnell led the Shorewomen off the bench as she tallied 19 points in just 18 minutes of play. Meghan Tait had 15 points, seven assists and four rebounds before fouling out. Sally O’Donnell chipped in with 13 points, four rebounds, three blocked shots, two assists and a steal. Julie Sherwood was the fourth Shorewoman in double figures with 10 points. Erin Kile led Washington on the glass with 10 rebounds while she also contributed six points and three blocked shots.

Both teams struggled from the floor as York shot 33.8% while Washington was a tick better at 34.8%. The Spartans were 5-for-22 from three while the Shorewomen converted 6-of-18 from deep. The Spartans were strong at the free throw line making 28-of-36 (77.8%) while Washington made 21-of-26 (80.8%).

York held a 51-39 bulge in rebounding.

The Spartans return to the Grumbacher Center on Tuesday evening when they host Gettysburg College in a non-conference contest. Game time at Charles Wolf Gymnasium is set for 6:00 pm.

GAME BOX

April Sparkman photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (sharpedgephoto.smugmug.com)