November 27, 2012

Defense Grounds Gophers as #15 Spartans Cruise to Fifth Win

TOWSON, MD – The York College women's basketball team used great defense and a resurgent offense to down Goucher College 75-45 in a non-conference contest in Towson, MD on Tuesday night.

The Spartans improve to 5-0 overall while the Gophers fall to 1-4. York is ranked 15th in both the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll and the d3hoops.com Poll

York seized control of the game early. The Spartans hit the Gophers with a 12-0 spurt midway through the opening half to forge a 19-6 lead. The Gophers stopped the run with a Latifah Butler lay up but the Spartans answered with an 11-2 spurt that pushed the lead to 30-10 with 3:01 left in the opening half.

The Gophers trimmed the Spartan lead to 15 but Aja Wallpher (Ellicott City, Md./Seton Keough) hit a pair of free throws and Loreta Tonuzi (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan) canned a three to push York's lead back to 20 at 35-15 heading to the break.

The Spartans continued their strong play to start the second half. York began the second stanza with a 13-4 run as the lead grew to 29 just three minutes into the half. The Green and White kept rolling in the second half as the lead grew to a game-high 31 nine different times during the second 20 minutes of action.

Junior forward Kristen Haley (Silver Spring, Md./Georgetown Visitation) led all scorers with 19 points while she also had nine rebounds in 21 minutes of work. Haley was 7-of-15 from the floor, 2-of-3 from three and 3-of-4 from the line. Fellow junior Kelsey Murphy (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) was the other Spartan in double figures with 10 points while she also had four rebounds, a career-high tying three blocked shots, two assists and two steals.

Sophomore Kailee Knight (Crofton, Md./South River) had a memorable night as the forward registered career highs in rebounds with 16, assists with six, and blocked shots with four. Knight also tied a career-high with six points.

Freshman Julianne Lambert (Hockessin, Del./Padua Academy) also had a career night with nine points, three rebounds, and two assists in her career-high 29 minutes of work. Wallpher contributed eight points, six assists, and four steals for the Spartans.

Butler led the Gophers with a double-double as she tallied 13 points and 10 rebounds. She was 5-for-9 from the floor and 3-for-5 from the line.

The Spartans shot a season-high 42.4% from the floor while they converted an efficient 5-of-11 (45.5%) from three. York was outstanding from the stripe, making 19-of-23 (82.6%) in the win.

The Gophers shot 31% for the game as York has now held all five opponents under 40% shooting from the floor. Goucher was just 1-for-12 from three while they shot just 50% (8-for-16) from the free throw line.

The Spartans held a 43-38 edge on the glass despite missing leading rebounder Brittany Hicks (Dover, Pa./York Catholic) who did not dress to injury. The Spartans also did a good job of taking care of the ball, committing just 13 turnovers. York forced 20 Gopher turnovers, which they turned into 21 points.

After amassing 40 turnovers in the first two games, the Spartans have made a combined 34 turnovers in their last three games.

The Green and White blocked a season-high 10 shots in the win.

The Spartans return to action on Saturday when they open their Capital Athletic Conference campaign at St. Mary's College in a tough road contest. Tip time at St. Mary's City is slated for 2:00 pm.

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

Kaliee Knight photo courtesy of David Sinclair (www.davidsinclair.org)