YORK, PA – The York College women's basketball team fell to the College of New Jersey 56-40 in the championship game of the 2010 White Rose City Classic on Sunday afternoon in York. The loss is the first for the Spartans this year as they fall to 3-1 while the Lions improve to 2-2.
The Lions locked down the Spartans defensively as York shot a paltry 26.5% for the game. A pair of freshmen led York, as Brittany Hicks and Kristen Haley were the only Spartans to reach double figures in the game.
The first half was a tight affair in the early going as the two squads did an outstanding job defensively. There were three ties and five lead changes in the opening seven minutes of the game before the Lions took a 10-9 lead on a Keri Washington lay up with 12:54 left in the half. The Lions pushed the lead to six late in the half but freshman Aja Wallpher hit a jumper with 20 seconds left in the stanza to pull York to within four at 24-20.
Neither team did much offensively in the opening 20 minutes. York shot just 7-for-20 (35%) while the Lions converted just 9-of-29 (31%). The big difference was the nine offensive rebounds for the Lions as they got a number of second chances in the first half while the Spartans were forced to play prolonged stretches on defense.
The second half saw the Spartans get themselves back into the game early in the stanza. York opened the half on a 9-3 run capped by a Haley three pointer with 16:47 left. That triple, the first of Haley's career, gave York a 29-27 lead. The Lions responded like a veteran team, fashioning a 12-2 run to take a 39-31 lead with 9:27 left. Hicks and Wallpher then hit back-to-back shots to draw York to within four with 7:55 left then the Spartans went ice cold from the floor and the Lions started to pull away. TCNJ put the Spartans away by outscoring their hosts 17-5 over the final 6:50 of the game, blowing open what had been a tightly contested affair.
The Lions were led by tournament MVP Alex Gregorek as she pulled in ten rebounds, had five points, three assists and three steals in her 20 minutes of action. Hannah Tait led the Lions' scoring effort with 13 points while all-tournament team member Liz West added six points and four rebounds. Washington contributed eight points, six rebounds, three steals and a pair of assists.
Hicks, the Spartans' all-tournament team selection, led York with a career-high 13 points on a very efficient 3-of-4 shooting from the floor while she also went a crisp 7-for-8 from the free throw line. Hicks also had six rebounds, a steal and an assist. Haley contributed 11 points and four rebounds, as she was limited to 20 minutes due to foul trouble. Wallpher contributed eight points and four steals for York.
The Spartans finished the game shooting a season-low 26.5% from the floor as they managed just six second half field goals. York went 1-for-8 (12.5%) from three and 13-for-20 (65%) from the charity stripe.
The Lions weren't much better from the floor as they shot 29.6% (16-for-54) from the field. They did make 5-of-16 (31.3%) from distance while they held a decided advantage from the free throw line, making 19-of-28 (67.9%) from the charity stripe.
TCNJ ended the game with a 43-39 edge on the glass including 18 offensive rebounds for the game. York committed 22 turnovers, which continues a disturbing trend as they are averaging 20.7 miscues per game through their four games this year.
The Spartans return to action a week from today as they travel to Gettysburg College to face the nationally ranked Bullets. Tip time in Gettysburg is set for 2:00 pm.
Kristen Haley photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (www.sharpedgefoto.com)