Crisp Effort Lifts Spartans over Saints; Spartans Pull into First Place Tie

Crisp Effort Lifts Spartans over Saints; Spartans Pull into First Place Tie

YORK, PA – The York College women's basketball team picked up a much-needed victory as the Spartans handed the red-hot Marymount University Saints a 57-44 loss at Charles Wolf Gymnasium in Capital Athletic Conference play on Saturday afternoon.

The Spartans snap a three-game losing streak as they improve to 12-3 overall and 3-1 in the CAC while the Saints fall to 11-4 overall and 3-1 in the league. The victory pushes the Spartans into a first place tie with Marymount and Mary Washington at 3-1. The loss ends Marymount's seven-game win streak.

The game was back and forth in the first 10 minutes of the game as neither team held more than a three-point advantage. That changed when Spartan junior Kristen Haley (Silver Spring, Md./Georgetown Visitation) drilled a three from the top of the key to give York a 13-7 lead at the 11:18 mark of the first half. Junior point guard Aja Wallpher (Ellicott City, Md./Seton Keough) hit a jumper to push the York lead to eight.

The Saints scored buckets on back-to-back possessions, trimming York's lead to four at 15-11. That's when the Spartans took control. Haley started a 21-6 run with another triple from the top of the key as the Spartan run covered the final 9:33 of the first half. The Spartans took a 36-17 lead to the break.

Marymount scored the first three points of the second half but the Spartans answered, pushing the lead to a game-high 21 at 42-21 with 14:21 left in the game. Marymount went on a 10-0 run over the next five minutes, trimming York's advantage to 11 but the Spartans stopped the spurt with a Kesley Murphy (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) three from the corner. The Murphy triple started a 15-8 run that pushed York's lead back to 18 with 3:45 remaining in the contest.

The Saints scored the final five points of the game to provide for York's final 13-point margin of victory.

Murphy poured in a game-high 17 points as the shooting guard canned five threes in the win. She also added three assists, two blocked shots and two steals in her 40 minutes of work. Haley contributed 13 points including a season-high three three-pointers. Junior Brittany Hicks (Dover, Pa./York Catholic) was the third Spartan in double figures with 12 points while she tied Kailee Knight (Crofton, Md./South River) for the team-leading in rebounding as they each pulled in seven caroms.

Wallpher had an outstanding game as she handed out nine assists with just one turnover in her 40 minutes of play. Wallpher also had five points and three rebounds but it might have been her defensive effort that was her most important contribution to the win. She stifled the CAC's leading scorer Katelyn Fischer as the Saint senior guard had just five points, 12.7 points below her season average. Fischer was 1-for-9 from the floor including 0-for-3 from distance.

Tynisha Parks led the Saints in scoring with 11 points while she also had nine rebounds in 32 minutes of play. Miranda Krott notched a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

The Spartans forced 19 Marymount turnovers in the win and they proceeded to turn those miscues into 19 points. York's nine turnovers were the Spartans' lowest total since December 8 when York downed Wesley. York had averaged 17.6 turnovers per game over their last six contests.

The Spartans shot 38.2% from the floor in the win including 30% (10-for-30) from three. The Spartans went to the line just nine times as they converted five of those opportunities. York's ten three-point field goals were a season-high and their most since the March 3 NCAA Tournament win at Juniata.

The Saints were held to just 28.6% shooting in the loss, their second-lowest shooting performance of the year. The 44 points was Marymount's lowest scoring output of the year. Marymount went 1-for-7 from three while they were an efficient 15-for-20 from the free throw line.

The Saints handled the Spartans on the glass, outrebounding their hosts 45-27. Marymount had 17 offensive rebounds but that only led to only nine second chance points.

The win ends the Spartans' season-high seven game home stand as York heads out to Frostburg State University on Wednesday night. The Spartans and Bobcats tip off from Frostburg, Maryland at 6:00 pm.

Kelsey Murphy photo courtesy of David Sinclair -