WASHINGTON, DC-The York College women’s basketball team rode a brilliant performance by junior point guard Keli Ward (Nottingham, Pa./Oxford) as the Spartans cruised to an easy 83-39 win at Gallaudet University on Wednesday night in Capital Athletic Conference action. The Spartans improve to 17-7 overall and 9-6 with the victory while the Bison fall to 3-21 for the campaign including 0-16 in the conference.
Ward entered the night 30 points short of becoming the 10th player in the history of the program to reach 1,000 career points. Ward finished the evening six points short of the milestone but still had one of the best nights of her career in leading the green and white to their victory.
The Spartans opened the game by scoring 12 of the first 16 points of the contest. The green and white continued to increase the lead as a 14-2 spurt midway through the half pushed the York lead to 31-12 capped by a Ward lay up with 9:47 left in the half. The onslaught continued as York fashioned a 13-6 spurt to increase the lead to a half-high 26 points at 46-20. The Spartans would settle for a 49-26 margin at the break.
The green and white opened the second half with a 13-3 run to take a 62-29 lead. The Bison would get no closer than 29 points the rest of the way. York’s final lead was 44 which was also the largest lead of the night for YCP.
Ward finished the night with a stellar line. She had 24 points, seven assists, five steals, and five rebounds in 31 minutes of action. Ward was 8-of-13 from the floor including a career-high six three point field goals. Ward also nailed both of her free throws while she committed just one turnover for the night. The Spartans placed three other players in double figures led by freshman April Sparkman (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) as she had 12 points and nine rebounds. Sparkman was very efficient as she was 3-for-5 from the floor with all three field goals being threes. She also converted 3-for-4 from the free throw line. Senior Kristen Daly (Harrisburg, Pa./Trinity) notched 12 points and five rebounds while Amanda Andrews (Fallston, Md./Fallston), the reigning CAC Player-of-the-Week, added 12 points, five assists, two rebounds, a blocked shot, and one steal.
Nukeitra Hayes led the Bison with 16 points and five rebounds. Hayes was 8-for-18 from the floor while she also had three blocked shots. Brittainy Payne pulled in 11 rebounds to pace the Bison while she also had five points and a pair of assists. Priscilla Biskupiak added six points, six rebounds, and three assists for Gallaudet.
The Spartans finished the game shooting 40.5% from the floor but a blistering 11-for-23 (47.8%) from three. The Spartans have been brilliant from distance in their last two games as they are a combined 24-for-44 from downtown in their last 80 minutes of play. The Spartans were also excellent at the free throw line as they converted 12-of-13 for the contest.
Gallaudet shot just 33.3% from the floor as they attempted 20 less shots than did York. The Bison did not make a three and went 3-for-4 from the free throw line.
The Spartans held a 45-39 edge on the glass which led to a 25-7 edge in second chance points. York also had a 22-12 edge in points in the paint. York also turned 25 Bison turnovers into 24 Spartan points.
The Spartans close out the regular season on Saturday at Marymount University. Tip time from Arlington is set for 2:00 pm. The Spartans then open the CAC tournament as the fourth seed as they will host Wesley College on Tuesday, February 26 at 6:00 pm.
Keli Ward photograph courtesy of Eric Linsley