SALISBURY, MD – The York College women's basketball squad dug themselves a deep, 19-point hole in the second half of Saturday's game at Salisbury. It was a hole the #10 Spartans wouldn't be able to climb out as they dropped a 79-69 decision to the Sea Gulls.
The Spartans fall to 21-2 overall and 13-2 in the Capital Athletic Conference. The loss enables Christopher Newport to take the drivers seat in the chase for the top seed in the league. If the Captains win out, they would capture the number one seed by virtue of the second conference tiebreaker.
Salisbury improves to 10-4 in the league, as they are now in great shape for a first round conference tournament home game. The Sea Gulls improve to 15-8 overall with the win.
The first half was highly entertaining as neither team was able to gain any significant traction early in the game. The Spartans took an early lead before the Sea Gulls tied the game at 12 with 13:31 left in the half. Salisbury got a three from Courtney McManus and a bucket from Anna Hackett to take a 17-16 lead.
The Spartans responded with a 12-4 run to take a 28-21 lead with 3:43 left in the half. Salisbury then smacked the Spartans with a 10-0 run keyed by some big York turnovers as the momentum completely shifted in favor of the hosts. Senior Brittany Hicks (Dover, Pa./York Catholic) halted the run as she hit four free throws and a put-back lay up in the final 1:08 to draw York to within one at the break, 35-34.
The Spartans had 10 first half turnovers as the miscues resulted in 14 points for the Gulls.
The Gulls took it to the Spartans in the opening stages of the second half. Salisbury hit the Green and White with a staggering 20-4 run over the opening 6:35 of the stanza. Salisbury eventually pushed the lead to a game-high 19 points on a pair of Sarah Seipp free throws at the 8:36 mark.
The Spartans then got their act together and began a stirring comeback. The Green and White went on a four-minute 16-2 run that trimmed their lead to five at 66-61. After a pair of Anna Hackett free throws with 3:26 left, senior Aja Wallpher (Ellicott City, Md./Seton Keough) hit a driving lay up to leave the Spartan deficit at 68-63. That is as close as York would get the rest of the way.
Just as the Spartans found themselves back in the game, the Green and White went ice cold from the floor. While the Spartans were struggling to find the mark, the Sea Gulls iced the game at the free throw line. Salisbury went 11-for-14 in the final 2:49 of the game to preserve the upset win.
Seipp led the Sea Gulls as she poured in 24 points on 5-of-15 shooting including 2-of-8 from three. Seipp feasted at the free throw line as she went to the line 16 times, converting 12 of those opportunities. Seipp also had six rebounds and six steals in her 34 minutes of work. Hackett added 18 points, seven assists, three rebounds, and two steals for Salisbury. Becca Himes was the third Gull in double figures with 10 points while she also grabbed four rebounds. Kathy Albornoz hurt the Spartans on the glass as she collected nine offensive rebounds en route to 11 for the game while she also had nine points.
Hicks led York with another monster performance as the All-American poured in a season-high 27 points with a season-high tying 15 rebounds. Hicks was 7-for-15 from the floor and made a school-record 13 free throws in 15 attempts. Fellow senior forward Kristen Haley (Silver Spring, Md./Georgetown Visitation) added a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in her 26 minutes of play. Wallpher contributed nine points and five assists for the Spartans.
Turnovers hurt the Spartans in the game as they committed 22 miscues for the contest. The Sea Gulls turned those 22 mistakes into 31 points for the game. Conversely, Salisbury had just 12 turnovers, which netted the Spartans just eight points for the game.
Salisbury also held a huge disparity at the free throw line. Salisbury went 27-for-37 from the stripe while York attempted just 20, knocking down 16.
York shot 42.9% from the floor but struggled from three, going just 5-for-17. Salisbury shot 40.4% from the floor and 6-for-18 (33.3%) from three. York held a slight 39-36 margin on the glass while the Sea Gulls had a 17-16 advantage in second chance points.
The Spartans conclude their 2013-14 Capital Athletic Conference schedule on Wednesday night when they travel to Frostburg State University to face the Bobcats. Tip time from Frostburg, Maryland is set for 6:00 pm. The Spartans conclude the regular season a week from today when they host Southern Virginia.