January 19, 2013

Eagles Clip the Spartans in CAC First Place Showdown

YORK, PA – The University of Mary Washington's women's basketball team notched a 50-47 win over the host York College Spartans in a battle for first place in the Capital Athletic Conference on Saturday in York.

With the win, the Eagles now sit alone in first place in the league at 5-1 while they improve to 12-5 overall. The Spartans fall to 13-4 for the campaign and 4-2 in the league.

The game was a defensive battle fitting of the two top defensive teams in the league. The contest was back-and-forth early with the opening 10 minutes featuring five ties and two lead changes. The largest lead either way in the opening stretch was four points.

York had a 22-18 lead with 7:02 left but junior standout Brittany Hicks (Dover, Pa./York Catholic) was whistled for her third foul of the first half with 6:21 left in the first half. The Eagles took advantage of Hicks' absence as they fashioned a 12-1 run to take a 30-23 lead with 38 seconds left before the half. York got a pair of Loreta Tonuzi (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan) free throws with 10 seconds left in the half as York trailed 30-25 at the break.

The Eagles kept their foot on the gas pedal in the opening stages of the second half. UMW opened the lead to nine on a pair of Carol Dye buckets in the first 1:20 of the second stanza.

York kept at it and cut the Eagle lead back down to one at 44-43 on a Kristen Haley (Silver Spring, Md./Georgetown Visitation) bucket at the 11:05 mark. Mary Washington answered with a 6-0 run to take a 50-43 lead with 7:21 remaining in the game. The Eagles would not score the remainder of the game. Unfortunately, York wouldn't be able to capitalize on their outstanding defense as the Eagles' clamped down on the Spartan offense.

York pulled to within three on a pair of Kailee Knight (Crofton, Md./South River) free throws with 1:41 left. That would be the last point scored in the game. York had three shots over the final 1:13 but none found the mark. York got the ball back with 3.9 seconds left but the Spartans couldn't get a shot off as the Green and White dropped their tenth straight against the Eagles. York's last win over UMW came on February 2, 2009 at Wolf Gymnasium.

Mary Washington's second chances killed the Spartans all game long as the Eagles finished the game with 16 offensive rebounds and 16 second chance points. The Eagles' offensive rebounds also expended a great deal of energy for York as a short Spartan bench saw only two reserves garner playing time in the loss.

Dye paced the Eagles as she notched a double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds. She hit an array of 10-to-15 foot jumpers as she finished 8-for-19 from the floor in 36 minutes of action. Sam Partonen added seven points and five assists while Brieneke Matthes contributed eight points for the Eagles.

Hicks led the Spartans with 18 points in 29 minutes of play. Hicks was 6-for-11 from the floor and 6-for-7 at the free throw line. She pulled in three rebounds, had a steal and an assist. Haley had a strong game with 17 points, four rebounds, a blocked shot and a steal. Haley was 7-for-15 from the floor including 1-for-1 from three and 2-for-3 from the stripe.

The Spartans shot just 31.1% from the floor while they went a cool 1-for-9 from three. York was solid at the free throw line, converting 18-of-22 for the contest.  Mary Washington shot 37.5% from the field, 26.7% (4-for-15) from there and 4-for-5 from the line.

The Eagles finished the game with a huge 42-26 edge in total rebounds. UMW's 16 offensive rebounds were only four less than York's 20 defensive rebounds. The Eagles attempted 11 more shots than the Spartans in large part to the rebounding disparity.

The Spartans get back at it on Monday when they travel to McDaniel College for a non-conference contest against the Green Terror. The two squads tip off at 7:00 pm in Westminster, Md.

Kristen Haley photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (www.sharpedgefoto.com)