Ward Scores 19 as Spartans Notch 11-Point CAC Victory

Ward Scores 19 as Spartans Notch 11-Point CAC Victory

YORK, PA - The York College women’s basketball team tallied their fifteenth win of the 2007-08 season with a 65-54 victory over Capital Athletic Conference foe Villa Julie Wednesday night from York’s Grumbacher Sport & Fitness Center.  With the win, the green and white bump their record to 15-4 including 7-3 in league play while the Mustangs drop to 6-13 and 3-7 in conference.

As has been their custom, the Spartans jumped out to a significant early advantage.  Five and half minutes into the contest York had built a 19-7 lead behind the hot shooting of Amanda Andrews (Fallston, Md./Fallston), Keli Ward (Nottingham, Pa./Oxford), and Kristen Daly (Harrisburg, Pa./Trinity). The trio combined for 6-for-6 from the floor including a pair of threes from Andrews. Junior forward Chanel Perez also added four points on a lay-up and two free throws.  Altogether, the Spartans shot an incredible 7-for-10 from the field during their opening spurt.

York continued to build their lead throughout the next ten minutes.  With six minutes left in the frame, and the Spartans up by 15 at 27-12, the visitors looked like they might gain some momentum.  After a Ward turnover, Mustang senior guard Tonia Crisitino made a great pump-fake to get York’s junior point guard off her feet and looked to have an open jumper.  The ever-steady Ward quickly recovered blocking Cristino’s jump shot and grabbing the loose ball.  She then alertly fed the streaking Andrews for an easy fast-break lay-up.  The Spartans now owned their largest margin of the first frame up 17 at 29-12.

Villa Julie was able to slightly cut the Spartan advantage during the closing minutes of the stanza, but York still took a 13-point 35-22 lead into the break.

The Spartans did cool off a bit from their opening five-minute barrage yet hit 45.2% from the field going 14-for-31.  The visitors were only able to manage an 8-for-24 effort but remained within striking distance due to four made triples.

The Mustangs would claw back into the contest with an early 8-4 run to begin the second stanza.  The Spartan lead would then linger between nine and eleven points until Ward sank a triple with 14:45 to go in the frame.  From then on, the home squad would not let their lead dip below double-digits.  

Three minutes later Ward and Andrews combined on back-to-back scores to increase the Spartan advantage to 20 at 51-31.  Andrews assisted on a Ward triple before the point guard returned the favor on an Andrews’ lay-up 22 seconds later.  

After Villa Julie’s 8-4 opening salvo to start the second half, the Spartans effectively slammed the door with a 12-1 run of their own capped by Andrews’ lay-up.

Closing the Spartans’ advantage to 12 at 55-43, the Mustangs gave a solid effort to creep back into the contest with just under seven minutes remaining.  But the green and white would have none of that as they then bolstered their lead back to 20 with a 10-2 run over a four-minute period.  

York would then put it on cruise control for the final three minutes of the game to capture the 65-54 CAC victory.

The Spartans would finish the contest shooting 41.3% from the field hitting 26 of their 63 attempts.  York also cashed in from the charity stripe going 8-for-10.  On the glass, the green and white grabbed 43 boards including 15 on the offensive end, besting Villa Julie’s 32 caroms.

Villa Julie kept pace with their hosts with a 39.6% shooting night, managing to score on 21 of their 53 shots from the field.  The visitors went to the line 14 times but only hit on seven of their attempts.  

Ward led all scorers as she posted 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting, nailing all three of her free throws.  Ward filled up the stat sheet adding eight rebounds, five assists, and three blocks over her 35 minutes.  Daly added yet another double-double tallying 12 points and ten rebounds.  Perez just missed a double-double of her own with 13 points and nine rebounds also handing out four assists while Andrews put 14 points on the Spartans’ side of the scoreboard.

Senior forward Tanisha Foster played an outstanding 38 minutes for the Mustangs.  Foster tallied a team-high 16 points while pulling-down 16 boards equaling half of the visitors’ total.  She also contributed six blocks, four assists, and three steals.  Cristino was the other Mustang in double-figures as she went 4-for-7 from three tallying 12 points to go along with four assists.  

The Spartans, winners of two straight and eight of nine, travel to Mary Washington this Saturday.  The crucial CAC contest is set to tip-off from Fredericksburg, Va. at 2:00 pm.


Keli Ward photo courtesy of Eric Linsley