St. Mary's City, Md. – The St. Mary's College of Maryland women's basketball team outscored the York College of Pennsylvania Spartans, 13-5, in the final six minutes of the game but the Seahawks' rally fell short as York held on for the 60-52 Capital Athletic Conference victory Wednesday night.
York (17-3, 11-1 CAC) owned a substantial 16-point lead with 6:09 remaining as sophomore guard Kelsey Murphy's (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) jumper put the finishing touches on a 22-5 run. St. Mary's then capitalized on the Spartans' dry spell as YCP did not connect on another field goal until 51 seconds left in the game.
Sophomore Raven Owens (Arnold, Md./Severn School) initiated the Seahawks' 13-5 run with a 1-for-2 effort from the foul line and St. Mary's (8-13, 6-6 CAC) finished with a 6-for-8 showing during the rally. Junior forward Joanna Murray (Reisterstown, Md./Franklin) hit a key three-pointer at 2:26 to cut the lead to 55-48.
Sophomore guard Aura Payne (Glen Burnie, Md./Severn School) stole the ball from sophomore Brittany Hicks (Dover, Pa./York Catholic) to set up sophomore center Sophie Pruden (Carrboro, N.C./Chapel Hill) at the free throw line with two shots as Pruden was fouled coming down with the offensive board. Pruden made both to close the gap to 55-50 at 1:49.
York went up seven at 00:51 following sophomore guard Aja Wallpher's (Ellicott City, Md./Seton Keough) jumper and sealed the win by going 3-of-4 at the line.
Owens finished with 14 points while sophomore forward Shana Lewis (Bowie, Md./Bowie) added 10. Sophomore center Myeisha Wallace (West River, Md./Southern Senior) and Pruden controlled St. Mary's efforts on the glass with eight and seven rebounds, respectively.
Both teams struggled offensively in the first half as neither squad shot above 30% from the field and combined for 15 field goals in 55 attempts. York headed into the locker room with a 23-20 edge as Wallpher laid-in a shot with 10 ticks on the clock. Owens paced the Seahawks with five points while Hicks and sophomore forward Kristen Haley (Silver Spring, Md./Georgetown Visitation) led York with six points each.
Haley came in as the Spartans' leading scorer with a game-best 17 points while Hicks notched a double-double on 14 points and game-high 14 caroms. Wallpher went on to finish with 10 and seven assists.
The Seahawks will be back in action on Saturday, February 4 when St. Mary's travels to Arlington, Virginia to face Marymount (Va.) University (8-12, 5-6 CAC) in an important league matchup. Tip-off is slated for 2:00 pm. Marymount left St. Mary's City with a 62-52 victory on January 4 despite Murray and Owens combining for nine three-point field goals.