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Women’s Basketball: McDaniel’s team unity still a work in progress

McDaniel's early-season basketball schedule was designed to give the women's team some challenges before conference play began in earnest.

The Green Terror got one for their opener Tuesday at Gill Center in York College which, like McDaniel, was coming off a 20-win season.


Perhaps the Spartans' experience played a factor in their 62-50 win over the Terror. But the home team was in the game midway through the fourth quarter before York closed things out with a 15-4 run.

McDaniel coach Becky Martin, and team tri-captain Alyssa March, said the Green Terror need a little time to find their flow.


"Right now it's composure, and that does fall to the upperclassmen," said March, a graduate student, who missed last year with an ACL injury. "I was frustrated with myself, with how I was playing. I was tired, and there were things that were not happening that needed to."

March had a game-high 13 rebounds to go with 10 points in her first game since March 6, 2015, when McDaniel played in the NCAA tournament.

"We did some good things, we did some bad things," March said. "We just have to work on it in practice, rest, and then just get back at it."

The Green Terror trailed 47-46 with 6 minutes remaining, but York ended the game strong. The Spartans made 7 of 9 field goals in the final minutes, while McDaniel missed its final 10 field goals.

Junior forward Morgan Kuehne had six of her game-high 18 points during York's scoring spree, and all of them came via layups. Sam Hruz, a senior forward, drained a 3-pointer from the top of the arc with 5:14 to play, giving the Spartans a 52-46 lead.

Hruz scored from close range with 3:32 to go, and York led 58-48. When senior guard Sarah Shearer had an uncontested layup underneath, without a McDaniel defender in sight, the Spartans went ahead 60-50 with 2:10 remaining.

McDaniel scrapped to stay close, but the finish wasn't there.

March shares captain duties with senior forwards Sarah Bach and Karli Zeps, who have each missed time during the preseason. Bach had four points and four rebounds; Zeps scored eight and had three boards. The pair shot a combined 6-for-20.


"They've got to learn how to play together," Martin said. "We've got some kids that we are counting on. Our captains, that's our senior leadership. Karli just got back on the floor this week. We've had Bach for, like, 10 days. Alyssa has been out for a whole year. We've had teams that, they've played together so long they know how to play off one another. This team doesn't.

"So when things break down, it's a little bit chaotic."

Junior guard Jasmine Smith led McDaniel with 16 points, and Martin used some of her more inexperienced players in a rotation. Junior guard Melanie Yeomans got the start, as did freshman forward Liv Storer.

Hannah Ravenscroft, a freshman guard, played 16 minutes in a reserve role.

York collected 17 points from its bench; McDaniel only got nine.

"Kudos to the freshmen, they worked hard," said Martin, who played six of them Tuesday. "They got a taste of what it's going to be like."


Junior guard Katie Wagner had 15 points for York while Hruz posted a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

York used an 8-1 run in the second quarter to take a 25-15 lead with less than 3 minutes to play in the half. McDaniel caused three turnovers down the stretch and March scored on a pair of short-range jumpers to keep the Green Terror close.

March had six points in the second quarter.

McDaniel led 6-0 early on, but went cold in the first quarter and York grabbed the lead. The Spartans took advantage of a 0-for-11 Green Terror shooting stretch and led 10-8 after the first 10 minutes.

Kuehne had eight points at the break to lead York, while Hruz had nine rebounds. March had nine boards at halftime as well.

McDaniel shot 23 percent from the field in the first half, however, and trailed 25-19 at halftime.

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The Green Terror finished the game at 30.3 percent shooting and committed 14 turnovers. York also won the battle inside, scoring 36 points in the paint to McDaniel's 24.

The Terror are focusing on their front court — Bach, March, and Zeps — while a handful of guards compete for the spot next to Smith.

Martin and her players are hoping it doesn't take too long to come to fruition. Their home tournament this Friday and Saturday features Juniata, St. Aloysius and nationally-ranked St. Thomas.

A trip to Johns Hopkins awaits next Tuesday for the Centennial Conference opener.

"It was certainly, I think, not a pretty game by any means for either team," Martin said. "And we came up short in the end."