December 14, 2009

Sapp, Defense Lead Spartans to CAC Victory

YORK, PA – Down 50-44 with 9:41 remaining in the contest, the York College women’s basketball team staged an extended 25-2 run to top visiting Wesley College 69-52 Monday evening from York’s Grumbacher Sport & Fitness Center. The victory gives the Spartans their first Capital Athletic Conference win of the season as the Green and White now stand at 4-4 and 1-2 in league play. The Wolverines fall to 2-4 and 0-3 in the CAC.

That final 9:41 proved to be the Jaimie Sapp (Bluemont, Va./Loudoun Valley) show as the junior center tallied eleven points during the Spartan onslaught. Facing that 50-44 deficit, Sapp brought the Spartans to within one at 50-49 within a mere 47 second span. The junior canned back-to-back jumpers with the latter resulting in a traditional three-point play.

Down only one, April Sparkman (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) knotted the game at 50 with a free throw with 8:27 to play. Following Sparkman’s freebie, the Spartans took the lead for good on a Gayle Exley (Spring City, Pa./Owen J. Roberts) jumper just 11 seconds later.

York steadily built their lead over the final eight minutes led by the Spartans’ lock-down defensive effort. The Green and White only allowed one Wesley bucket, a Jasmine Barksdale layup with 6:25 on the clock, the rest of the way.

The first half proved a nip-and-tuck affair until the Spartans captured a 20-16 advantage with 6:26 left in the opening stanza. York’s lead in the half would stretch to as much as eight on two occasions while the squads went into halftime with the Green and White owning a 28-23 lead.

For her efforts, Sapp secured a new career-high with 20 points on the night, as she shot 7-for13 from the floor and a sparkling 6-for-7 from the charity stripe.  The junior also added nine rebounds and a pair of blocks over her 31 minutes.

Sparkman and Exley both tallied double-doubles to aid the Spartans on both ends of the floor. Sparkman drained 17 points, on 7-for-15 shooting, and grabbed 12 rebounds while Exley notched two career-highs with 12 points and 12 boards. Freshman Loreta Tonuzi (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan), who garnered the first start of her collegiate career, registered eight points, six assists, and two steals over her 34 minutes of work.

York shot 37.1 percent from the field against the Wolverines, including a strong 15-31 (48.4 percent) in the second stanza. The Spartans’ also distributed a season-high 22 assists while posting 18 turnovers – their second lowest total of the season.

Wesley registered a trio of scorers in double-digits, led by Michele Mules’ 16. Mules went 6-for-10 from the floor, including 3-for-5 from three. Angie Owens, the Wolverines’ exceptionally talented forward, collected a double-double of her own with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Colleen Thomas was the final Wesley player in double-figures with 10 points.

Wesley began the second half on a torrid streak, building an eight-point advantage twice. However, the Wolverines went ice cold over the final 9:41. Wesley shot 35.1 percent from the floor for the game on 20-for-57 shooting, including only 5-for-20 from three.

The Spartans are now off until after the calendar turns to the new year. York will play host to the 2010 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Grumbacher Sport & Fitness Center on January 2 and 3. The Green and White will start off with Ursinus at noon on Saturday between squaring off with either the College of New Jersey or Norwich on Sunday.

BOX SCORE

Jaimie Sapp photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (www.sharpedgephoto.smugmug.com)