YORK, PA – Nineteenth-ranked York topped visiting Johns Hopkins, 55-44, in both teams' season opener Thursday night at Charles Wolf Gymnasium. The Blue Jays open their season with a loss for just the fourth time in the 27-year tenure of head coach Nancy Funk. The Spartans open their season with a win for the third time in the last four years.
Trailing by four early, the Blue Jays used a six-point spurt to take a 9-7 lead with 14:36 to play in the half. Sophomore Maggie Fruehan got things going with a bucket in the paint, followed by a pair of back-to-back fast break layups by junior Fatu Conteh. The Spartans called timeout and regrouped, responding with a 14-2 run, fueled by eight points from Jess Selby, to take a 21-10 lead with 6:33 on the clock. The teams traded buckets over the remainder of the half before Loreta Tonuzi punctuated the first half with a basket from downtown to give York a 31-17 lead at the half.
Coming out of the half, it was slow going before Selby hit a fast break jumper to extend the Spartans' lead to 16 points just over two minutes in. Hopkins answered with six straight points, including a three-pointer from sophomore Stacy Fairey, to make it a 33-23 game. But an 8-4 spurt from York, with Brittany Hicks accounting for all eight points from the Spartans, pushed the home team's lead back to 14 with 13:50 on the clock.
Hopkins hit a dry spell over the course of the next seven minutes as York slowly pushed out to a 21-point lead at 50-29. The Blue Jays were able to chip away, starting with a layup from freshman Beatriz Williams and a triple from sophomore Jessica Brown as JHU trimmed the deficit to 14 with 3:34 to play in the game. York got a three-point play from Selby to push its lead back to 17 before Hopkins scored the final six points of the game to account for the 55-44 final. The Spartans got the bulk of their points in the final 10 minutes in the paint.
No Blue Jay finished in double digits as junior Alyssa Fleming had a team-high nine points. Fairey chipped in eight points and four steals, while senior Alex Vassila had 10 rebounds and three blocks. Selby led all scorers with a career-high 16 points, including a 3-of-6 showing from downtown, as three Spartans finished in double figures. Hicks and Kristen Haley each had double-doubles for York. Hicks punched up 14 points to go with a game-high 12 rebounds, while Haley had 11 and 10. Aja Wallpher swiped seven steals, out of 16 for York, to go along with five assists.
Neither team shot well from the floor, as Hopkins finished at a 34.6 percent clip and York shot just 34.4 percent from the field. Hopkins won the battle of the boards, 43-37, as 11 of the 13 players who played grabbed at least one rebound.
Hopkins returns to action as the Blue Jays host the annual Mike Durgala Memorial Tournament. Hopkins will face Mary Baldwin in the opener on Saturday, November 17 at 1:00 pm in Goldfarb Gym.