Stellar Defensive Effort Lifts #19 Spartans to Season Opening Win
YORK, PA – The 19th ranked York College women's basketball team opened their season with a stellar defensive effort as the Spartans notched a 55-44 non-conference victory over Johns Hopkins University on Thursday night in York.
The Spartans held the Blue Jays to 34.6% shooting in the game while they forced 25 turnovers in the victory.
The game was a defensive contest from the start as neither team could find the mark early on. The Spartans started the game just 3-for-14 from the floor as they nudged out to an early 10-9 lead on a Jess Selby (Upper Marlboro, Md./Calverton School) three pointer. That triple started a 17-3 Spartan run that covered almost 10 minutes of game time as York slowly seized control.
After Fatu Conteh hit one of two free throws with 3:16 left in the half, the Spartans got a Kristen Haley (Silver Spring, Md./Georgetown Visitation) lay up and a Loreta Tonuzi (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan) triple to take a 31-17 lead to the break.
The Spartans slowly pulled away in the early stages of the second half. The Spartans went on a seven-minute 12-4 run that pushed the lead to a game-high 21 at 50-29. The Blue Jays would outscore the Spartans 15-5 over the final 6:09 of the game but the lead was not in jeopardy after the mid-half run.
The Spartans placed three players in double figures led by Selby as the junior made her first career start a memorable one. The guard poured in a game-high 16 points while she also added five rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal in her 32 minutes of work. Selby was 6-for-11 from the floor, 3-for-6 from three and 1-for-1 from the line.
The junior duo of Brittany Hicks (Dover, Pa./York Catholic) and Haley controlled play in the lane for the Green and White. Hicks recorded her 12th career double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds while Haley had 11 points and 10 rebounds, good for her 19th career double-double.
Junior point guard Aja Wallpher (Ellicott City, Md./Seton Keough) notched a game-high seven steals while she also had five assists, six points, and two rebounds.
Fleming paced the Blue Jays as the junior guard tallied nine points on 4-of-8 shooting from the floor and 1-of-2 from the free throw line. Senior All-Centennial Conference forward Alex Vassila was held to five points for the Blue Jays but still managed to collected 10 rebounds for JHU. Vassila notched three blocked shots in her 27 minutes of work.
The Spartan match-up zone frustrated the visitors all night. The Blue Jays went 2-for-14 from distance while Vassila, one of the top post threats in the region, only got four shots in the game.
The Green and White didn't shoot the ball well as the Blue Jays also played solid defense in the loss. York converted only 34.4% of their attempts from the field but attempted nine more shots from the floor. The Spartans also held a decided advantage from deep as they went 5-for-20 from three. Neither team fared well at the free throw line as York was 8-for-15 (53.3%) while the Blue Jays were 6-for-12 (50%).
Hopkins controlled the glass as the bigger Blue Jays finished with a 43-37 margin in rebounding.
The Spartan win gives the Green and White a narrow 3-2 edge in the overall series between the teams while the Spartans are now 2-0 against JHU at Charles Wolf Gymnasium.
The Spartans return to action on Saturday when they face Roanoke in the Daly Seven Hotels Classic hosted by Guilford College in Guilford, NC. The Spartans and Maroons will tip off at 5:00 pm on Saturday.