ARLINGTON, Va. – The York College women's basketball team improved to 2-0 in the Capital Athletic Conference with a 54-44 victory at the Verizon Sports Arena at Marymount University on Saturday. The Spartans improve to 5-2 overall while the Saints fall to 1-4 overall and 1-1 in the conference. The victory at Marymount is the second in three years but is also just the second in the 14-year tenure of Spartan head coach Betsy Witman
The Spartans had three players reach double figures led by freshman Brittany Hicks as the forward tied her career-high with 13 points. Freshman Aja Wallpher and senior Jaimie Sapp also reached double figures for York.
The opening minutes of the game was back-and-forth with four lead changes and four ties in the first six minutes of the game. The Spartans would not trail the rest of the day after a Khadija Mitchell three with 12:35 left in the first. A Gayle Exley three pushed the lead to five but the Saints tied the game with five straight points. The game would be tied again at 16 but the Spartans 7-1 run keyed by a Hick's three pointer gave the visitors a 23-17 lead. York settled for a 25-20 advantage at the break.
The second half began with the Spartans slapping the hosts with a 10-2 run powered by Sapp as the senior center poured in six points on the spurt. The Saints trimmed the lead to seven but York answered with a 7-0 run, pushing the lead to a game-high 14 at 42-28. The advantage would reach 14 again later in the half before Marymount cut the Spartan lead down to seven twice. However, Spartans closed out the win with three consecutive free throws to provide the final 10-point margin of victory.
The York defense was the story of the day, harassing the Saints into 23.7% shooting from the floor and just 14.3% from three. The Spartans ended the game shooting 44.7% from the field, their second best mark of the year. The Spartans 37.5% mark from three was also their highest percentage of the year as they attempted a season-low eight threes.
Hicks was 5-for-7 from the field including 1-of-2 from three and 2-for-4 from the free throw line. She also had five rebounds, three assists and a steal in her 31 minutes of work. Wallpher established a new career-high with 12 points while she also had five assists and just two turnovers in one of her best floor games of the year. The CAC leader in steals also had two thefts for the Green and White. Sapp continues to play well for York as she chipped in with 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor. She also had two blocks and a pair of rebounds in a season-high 33 minutes of play. Freshman Kristen Haley led the Spartans on the glass with seven caroms.
The Saints, who played just six players in the contest, were led by Maame Amponsah as the forward recorded a double-double with 11 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Jackie Bohenek had a game-high 14 points while she also pulled in eight rebounds. Senior guard Amanda Billy was the third Saint in double figures with 11 points but she was just 4-of-17 from the floor including 3-of-15 from distance.
The Saints struggled from the free throw line as they went just 13-for-24 (54.2%) while the Spartans made nine of their 13 attempts (69.2%).
Marymount dominated the Spartans on the glass, holding a 46-35 rebounding margin. The Saints pulled in 23 offensive rebounds in the game but it only cost York 10 second chance points.
The Spartan defense continues to get better as the season progresses. York has allowed an average of just 49 points per game in their last two wins while they have allowed just 51.4 points per game in their five wins.
York heads to St. Mary's College on Wednesday to face the Seahawks in a CAC contest. Tip time from St. Mary's City, Maryland is set for 6:00 pm.
Brittany Hicks photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (www.sharpedgefoto.com)