November 18, 2012

Spartans Win Daly Seven Hotels Classic; Hicks Named Tournament MVP

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The nationally ranked York College Spartan women's basketball team earned a quality road win on Sunday as they edged host Guilford College 55-51 in the second round of the Daly Seven Hotels Classic in Greensboro, NC. The Spartans captured the Classic format title due to their perfect 2-0 record in the tournament.

The Spartans, who are ranked 19th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and 18th in the d3hoops.com Poll, improve to 3-0 with the win while the Quakers fall to 2-1.

The Green and White trailed early as the Quakers took an early 9-4 lead just under six minutes into the game. The Spartans fashioned an impressive 16-0 run as the spurt covered just over four minutes, allowing the Spartans to take a 20-9 lead at the 9:53 mark.

The Quakers ended the run with a Kayla Adams three and that triple started an 18-6 Guilford run as they recaptured the lead, 27-26 with 1:59 remaining in the half. Junior Aja Wallpher (Ellicott City, Md./Seton Keough) hit a three to give the Spartans a 29-27 lead with 1:45 left in the half but Lila Scott hit a three of her own at the horn to give the Quakers a 30-29 lead at the break.

York began the second half on a 12-4 run as they opened up a 41-32 advantage with 14:09 left in the stanza. The Quakers battled back and pulled to within one at 46-45 with 8:23 remaining in regulation. The two squads would go scoreless over the next 4:37 as the Green and White held onto the slim one point advantage. Junior Kelsey Murphy (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) ended the drought as she drilled a three and Brittany Hicks (Dover, Pa./York Catholic) followed with a pair of free throws, extending York's lead to 51-45 with 2:43 left.

The Quakers cut the Spartan lead to 54-51 on a pair of Jaclyn Nucci free throws with 41 seconds left in the game. Guilford forced a missed layup on the ensuing Spartan possession as the Quakers were within one possession of a tie. Scott's three-point attempt with nine seconds missed the intended target and was corralled by sophomore Kailee Knight (Crofton, Md./South River) before she was fouled. Knight made one of two free throws to push the York lead to four. Guilford would be unable to get a shot off in the final seven seconds as York held on for the big road victory.

Hicks earned the Tournament MVP honors as she notched her third double-double of the year with a game-high 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. She was 3-for-8 from the floor and 6-for-7 from the free throw line. She also had four assists and one steal in her 38 minutes of work. Fellow junior forward Kristen Haley (Silver Spring, Md./Georgetown Visitation) was named to the All-Tournament team with 10 points and seven rebounds for York. Haley also had two assists, two steals and a blocked shot in the win. Murphy was the third Spartan in double figures with 10 points.

Preseason All-American Gabby Oglesby, Morgan King, and Alex Payne led the Quakers with nine points each. King added nine rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal while Oglesby had five caroms and a blocked shot. Payne scored her nine points in just eight minutes of play.

The Spartans struggled to shoot the ball from the field in the game as they converted just 28.8% of their attempts from the field including 25.9% (7-for-27) from three. York was not great from the free throw line either as they went just 14-for-21 in the win.

The Spartan defense was outstanding again as they limited the Quakers to 32.7% shooting in the victory. Guilford did manage to convert 7-of-18 from three (38.2%) while they made 10-of-16 from the stripe.

York held a slight 41-40 edge on the glass while the Spartans took care of the ball, committing a season-low 11 turnovers.

The Spartans now have six days off until returning to action on Sunday, November 25 when they travel to Gettysburg College as a part of a men's/women's York/Gettysburg doubleheader. Tip time for the women's game is set for 1:00 pm.