Free Throw Shooting Leads St. Mary's Past Spartans

ST. MARY'S CITY, MD – The York College women's basketball team was outscored 20-11 in overtime as they suffered their first Capital Athletic Conference loss, falling at St. Mary's 79-70 on Wednesday night. The Spartans fall to 5-3 overall and 2-1 in the conference. The Seahawks improve to 5-3 and 2-0 in the league.

The loss wasted the career effort of freshman forward Brittany Hicks as she poured in a career-high 28 points and pulled in a career-high 13 rebounds for her first career double-double. Jaimie Sapp and Kristen Haley also reached double figures for the Green and White.

The Seahawks jumped out to an early 6-0 lead before the Spartans went on a 12-2 run that gave the Green and White a 12-8 lead seven minutes into the game. The Seahawks retook the lead at 15-14 but the Spartans answered with a 15-0 run that gave them a 29-15 lead with just 2:54 in the half.  After a St. Mary's timeout, the Seahawks steadied the ship and completed the half with a 9-2 run to cut their deficit to seven at 31-24.

The Seahawks carried the run over to the second half as they started the stanza with a 7-0 spurt to tie the game at 31 less than three minutes into the second half. From that point on, the second stanza was back-and-forth. The Spartans forged a five-point lead at 39-34 only to have the Seahawks score five straight to tie the game at 39. The final 11:30 of regulation saw eight lead changes and four ties. The largest lead was three points as neither team could deliver the knockout blow.

With the Spartans leading 57-55, Jamie Roberts tied the game with a jumper with 1:11 left on the clock. Hicks answered with a layup off a pass from Gayle Exley as York held a two-point lead with 50 seconds left. Shana Lewis was fouled with 36 seconds left and sank both free throws tying the game at 59. Both teams had chances to win the game in the final 20 seconds but both attempts missed their mark as the squads headed to an extra five minutes.

The Seahawks got off to a quick start in the extra session as Pui Sham canned a three just 27 seconds into the overtime. The Spartans got a Hicks layup on the next possession but St. Mary's scored the next five points to take a 67-61 lead. Hicks made a free throw with 2:29 left to cut it to five but a steady Seahawk parade to the foul line sealed the win.

The Seahawks held a significant advantage at the free throw line as they made 45 trips to the charity stripe while York recorded a mere 14 attempts for the game. St. Mary's made 33 of their attempts as they shot 73.3% for the game while York was 10-for-14, good for a 71.4% accuracy mark.

Hicks was brilliant for the Spartans as she was 12-for-21 from the floor, 1-for-2 from three, and 3-for-5 from the line. She notched eight offensive rebounds and five defensive caroms while she also handed out three assists. Sapp added 14 points and five rebounds. She was 6-for-11 from the floor and drained both her free throw attempts. Haley was the third Spartan in double figures with 10 points and nine rebounds in just 20 minutes as she was hampered by foul trouble all night. Haley also blocked four shots for the Spartans.

Roberts paced the Seahawks with 21 points as she was just 4-for-13 from the floor but she went 11-for-14 from the free throw line. Roberts also had five rebounds for the hosts. Lewis added 18 points and eight rebounds. She was 5-for-11 from the field and was another Seahawk who feasted at the free throw line, as she was 8-for-10 from the stripe. Sham was the third Seahawk in double figures with 16 points in her 40 minutes of action.

The Spartans finished the game shooting 42.6% from the floor while they went 2-for-9 (22.2%) from three. York had nine more made field goals made than the Seahawks. St. Mary's finished the game shooting 32% from the floor (20-of-62) including 6-for-13 (46%) from three.

York returns to Wolf Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon when they host Frostburg State in the first meeting as CAC opponents. Game time at Wolf Gymnasium is set for 4:00 pm.

AUDIO HIGHLIGHTS COURTESY OF DARRELL HENRY - THE VOICE OF THE SPARTANS

Brittany Hicks photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (www.sharpedgefoto.com)