YORK, PA - Salisbury freshman guard Chante McKinney drilled a triple with 1:40 left in regulation to give her squad a 58-55 victory over the York College Spartans in Capital Athletic Conference women’s basketball action Wednesday night at York’s Grumbacher Sport & Fitness Center. With the loss, the green and white fall to 15-5 (7-4 CAC) on the season while the Sea Gulls up their 2007-08 mark to 8-12 (5-6 CAC).
Both squads struggled during the opening nine minutes of the contest as offense and ball security were at a premium. With 11:19 remaining in the first stanza, York and Salisbury had combined for nine total field goals and thirteen turnovers. The Spartans trailed by four at 12-8 and could not seem to jump start their offense.
A lay-up from freshman guard April Sparkman (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) with 11:19 left in stanza brought the Spartans to within four but they would not record another field goal until senior forward Kristen Daly (Harrisburg, Pa./Trinity) dropped in a lay-up of her own five minutes later with 6:21 left.
Fortunately for the Spartans, they were able to weather the drought with four made free-throws from Keli Ward (Nottingham, Pa./Oxford) and Chanel Perez (Biglerville, Pa./Gettysburg) and solid defending that forced Salisbury into numerous missed shots and several turnovers. Daly’s lay-up cut the Salisbury lead to four at 20-16 before she canned another lay-in 1:18 later to cut the score to 20-18. A steal by Ward with 3:45 left in the half led to another Daly lay-up and tied the score at 22 all.
In stark contrast to the beginning of game, a flurry of offense closed out the final 3:22. York went up by four at 26-22 on back-to-back buckets by Sparkman and Amy Fry (Carlisle, Pa./Big Spring) before Salisbury stormed back to take a three-point lead at 29-26. A triple by Ward evened the score at 29 as the Spartans looked to be in great position heading into the halftime break. The Sea Gulls’ Lindsay Martin had other ideas as she ripped a clean steal, dribbled the length of the floor, and laid-in her eighth and ninth points of the game to give the visitors the 31-29 halftime advantage.
York’s offensive woes spilled over into the second half as Salisbury stretched the lead to ten 3:44 into the frame. Amanda Andrews’ (Fallston, Md./Fallston) fastbreak lay-up was the only points the Spartans could muster for the period’s first four minutes.
For the next eight minutes, the Spartans would cut the Sea Gull lead to within striking distance but the visitors would quickly answer to keep the green and white at bay.
Finding themselves down eight at 51-43 with 7:41 remaining, the Spartans began to show some life as they went on a strong 9-0 run over a 2:10 span. Ward kick-started the spurt with a lay-up with 7:25 showing on the clock followed by lay-ups from Andrews and Sparkman. Ward then gave the Spartans the lead with a three at the 5:31 mark. Even though the Spartans had struggled throughout the contest, they suddenly found themselves up 52-51.
Sea Gull junior guard Monica Merkel snapped the Spartan streak and regained the lead for Salisbury at 53-52 with a bucket at the 5:18 mark. Two free throws by Salisbury’s Martin, 30 seconds apart, gave her squad the 55-52 advantage with 3:42 to play.
Andrews then cashed in her first three of contest to draw the score even at 55 with 3:28 left. That would prove to be the last time the Spartans would find the bottom of the cup.
McKinney’s three with 1:40 remaining would be the last time either side would score, as the Spartans final attempts would go begging.
For the game the Spartans shot a meager 38.7% from the field including 33.3% in the second half. Additionally, York was only able to hit three of their 14 attempts from distance. The killer for the home squad was their 26 turnovers that led to 21 Salisbury points.
The Sea Gulls faired slightly better in field goal percentage, nailing 39.4% of their shots. The turnover bug also bit Salisbury as they gave the ball away 26 times. The Spartans however, were only able to turn those giveaways into 16 points.
Daly gave a valiant effort in the loss tallying 16 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and two steals over her 32 minutes of work. Ward was the other Spartan in double-figures as she recorded 14 on the night. The junior point guard added six assists, four boards, two blocks, and one steal in 34 minutes.
Salisbury had a trio of players in double-figures led by Martin’s 19. The junior guard played much bigger than her five-foot seven-inch frame would suggest as she tallied numerous lay-ups and opportunistic buckets. Shaniece Roseborough cashed in 12 points and Merkel earned a double-double with ten points and 12 rebounds to go along with four assists. Kylie Hall also pulled-down 12 rebounds for the visitors and chipped in with six points.
The Spartans return to action this Saturday as they host CAC foe
St. Mary’s. Tip-time from the Grumbacher is set for 4:00 pm.
Kristen Daly photo courtesy of Eric Linsley