Vassila Leads Hopkins Past Spartans in Home Opener
Nov. 16, 2011
BALTIMORE, MD - Junior Alex Vassila posted her first double-double of the season as she led the Johns Hopkins women's basketball team to a 67-62 win over York (PA) in the season opener for both teams. The Blue Jays used a five point run in the final two minutes of the game to seal the home court victory.
The Spartans (0-1) took their biggest lead of the first half with 6:40 left to go before the first horn behind a layup from Aja Wallpher off a Blue Jay turnover. Hopkins (1-0) would chip away at the lead and hit four-straight free throws to pull within one of the Spartans, the closest they had found themselves in the opening frame.
With 1:11 to go in the first half, junior Sarah Higbee hit a jumper to give the Blue Jays their first lead of the game at 29-28 before hitting another two-pointer with 22 seconds left to give Hopkins a 31-28 lead going into the break.
Senior Stephanie Fong converted a layup in the first 20 seconds of the second frame to put the Blue Jays up by five, their highest lead of the game. Kristen Haley dumped in a layup and hit a three to tie the game for the first time with 18:34 left on the clock.
York took the lead with 14:55 left and used a nine-point run to build its biggest lead of the game over the next 3:07. Hopkins battled back and used 12-straight points, including a three-pointer from senior Chantel Mattiola to take a four-point lead, 50-46, with 8:47 to go.
Over the final 4:26 in regulation, the lead changed hands three times and was tied twice, the final time at 1:42. In the waning minutes of the game, sophomore Fatu Conteh drew a foul to take a trip to the charity stripe with the Blue Jays and Spartans tied at 62. After missing her first shot, Conteh gave the Blue Jays the lead, hitting the back end of a double-bonus trip to the free throw line. The Blue Jays final four points of the game came from free throws from Bush and Fong to seal the 67-62 victory for Hopkins.
Hopkins' bench made all the difference in the ball game, scoring 29 points to just seven points from the Spartans' bench. The Blue Jays also won the points off turnovers battle with a 26-22 advantage.
Vassila pulled down 13 boards and poured in 10 points for her first double-double of the season and Conteh led the Blue Jay offense with 13 points. Senior April Sparkman led the Spartans and paced the game with 18 points and chipped in six rebounds.
Johns Hopkins returns to the court when the Blue Jays host the Michael Durgala Memorial Tournament this weekend, November 19-20. Hopkins kicks off the tournament against Hood at 1 pm on November 19 at Goldfarb Gym.
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