Spartans Gut Out Team Victory at Stevenson
OWINGS MILLS, MD – York College junior Brittany Percich hit a free throw with 4.1 seconds left to force overtime as the Spartans posted a hard-fought 64-60 Capital Athletic Conference overtime victory at Stevenson University on Wednesday night. The Spartans improve to 8-8 overall and 5-3 in the CAC while the Mustangs fall to 1-14 overall and 0-8 in the conference.
Freshman Kristen Haley led the Spartans with 15 points and 11 rebounds while Percich recorded a career-high 10 points in the win.
The Spartans had control early in the contest as they forged a seven-point lead on a Kelsey Murphy triple with 14:05 remaining in the first half. The Spartans pushed the lead to a game-high of 12 on another Murphy three with 8:33 remaining in the stanza. The Mustangs scored 16 of the final 25 points of the half as York's lead was trimmed to 35-30 at the break.
The Mustangs captured their first lead of the game on a JaQuelia Conley bucket at the 12:17 mark of the second half. The Mustangs built the lead to five on a Sam Murray free throw with 8:57 left in regulation. The Spartans recaptured the lead courtesy of a Murphy steal and layup but that advantage was short lived as Rayshell Parker hit back-to-back layups to give the hosts a 56-53 lead. Spartan freshman Aja Wallpher hit a clutch three-pointer, tying the game at 56 with 1:12 left. The Mustangs took their final lead of the night when Kristen Steiner split a pair of free throws with 43 seconds left. That set the stage for Percich to tie the game on her second free throw attempt with 4.1 seconds left in regulation, allowing the Spartans to force overtime.
In the extra session, York took an early three-point lead only to have Conley tie the game with a triple with 2:29 left. Freshman Madeline Sloan, playing due to injuries suffered in the game by the Spartans, made a nifty layup with 1:11 left to provide the Green and White with the game-winning points. Wallpher added insurance as she hit a jumper in the lane as the clock was running out to provide the Spartans with the final margin of victory.
Haley finished the game shooting 5-for-11 from the floor but just 5-for-13 from the free throw line. She collected a pair of blocks in addition to her 15 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out late in regulation. Percich was 4-for-10 from the floor, including 1-for-1 from three and 1-for-2 from the free throw line. She also had five rebounds for York. Senior Gayle Exley earned the start in place of fellow senior Jaimie Sapp who missed the game due to injury, and Exley responded with nine points, nine rebounds, two blocked shots and two assists in a season-high 39 minutes of work. Murphy added nine points, five rebounds, three blocked shots, two assists and two steals for York.
The Mustangs received 17 points and seven rebounds from Murray as she was 5-for-11 from the floor, 2-for-4 from three and 5-for-7 from the charity stripe. Parker contributed a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds while Steiner chipped in with 15 points and eight rebounds. Conley was the fourth Mustang in double figures with 11 points.
The Spartans shot 35% from the floor including 44.4% from three. York struggled from the free throw line as they converted just 14-for-27 (51.9%) for the contest. The Mustangs shot 36.1% from the field including 41.7% (5-for-12) from distance. Stevenson was worse from the line than York as they went just 11-for-23 (47.8%) in the contest.
The Spartans showed tremendous character in the win as they lost two players to injury during the game and had entered the contest without the services of Sapp, a starter and a senior captain.
Stevenson out-rebounded the Spartans 50-44 in the contest as the Mustangs also held a 32-20 edge in points in the paint. The Spartans committed just 16 turnover which is just one more than their season-low of 15. York also blocked nine shots which ties a season-high which was first established in the November 17 win at Goucher.
The Green and White returns to action on Saturday afternoon when they host CAC co-leader Marymount in a league tilt. Tip time at Charles Wolf Gymnasium is set for 4:00 pm.