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Ward and Sparkman Lead Spartans Past Mustangs
STEVENSON, MD - The nationally ranked York College women’s basketball squad overcame a shaky performance at the free throw line to post a 67-54 Capital Athletic Conference win over Stevenson University on Saturday night in Stevenson, Md. The Spartans, who are ranked 13th in the nation according to the d3hoops.com Top 25 Poll and 14th in the WBCA USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll, improve to 18-1 overall and 11-0 in the CAC. The Mustangs fall to 4-15 overall and 2-8 in the league.
The Spartans jumped out to a 6-0 lead only to have the Mustangs answer with eight straight points of their own. The Green and White then embarked on a sustained 17-4 run to forge a 23-12 lead with 6:31 remaining in the half. The Mustangs scored 11 of the next 15 points to cut the York lead to 27-23. Howeve,r the Spartans responded with a 9-1 run to increase their lead to 12 at 36-24 with just six seconds left in the half. The Mustangs received a Tara Galvin trey at the halftime horn, cutting the York lead back to nine at 36-27.
Stevenson refused to go away early in the second half as they opened the half with a 10-4 run, trimming the Spartan advantage to 40-37, just under five minutes into the stanza. York pushed the lead back to seven before Stevenson cut the Spartan advantage to one at 47-46 with 8:37 left in the game. York then put together a 12-1 run that covered 1:47 and was capped by an Amanda Andrews (Fallston, Md./Fallston) triple with 6:04 remaining in the game. The Spartans pushed the lead to as many as 15 before settling for the 13-point victory.
Senior point guard Keli Ward (Nottingham, Pa./Oxford) again led the Spartans as she recorded her fifth straight double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. She also had six assists and three steals in her 37 minutes of work. Ward was 7-for-11 from the floor including 1-for-2 from three. She was also 5-for-8 from the free throw line in the game. Sophomore April Sparkman (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) recorded a double-double of her own with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Andrews tallied 17 points, handed out three assists and had two steals. Senior Chanel Perez (Biglersville, Pa./Gettysburg) was the fourth Spartan in double figures with 11 points, seven rebounds and four steals.
Galvin gashed the Spartan defense for 22 points as she was 8-for-15 from the floor including 6-for-9 from three. Qiana Coleman was the other Mustang who reached double figures as she had 13 points. Kristen Steiner pulled down 13 rebounds while she added four points, two assists, and three steals to the Mustang attack. Amanda Craig added six points, seven rebounds, and five rebounds for Stevenson.
The Green and White finished the game shooting 44.4% from the floor and 33% (5-for-15) from three. The Spartans struggled at the free throw line as the CAC’s top free throw shooting team went a chilly 14-for-26 from the stripe.
The Spartans held Stevenson to 31.7% shooting from the floor while the Mustangs shot 50% from three, bolstered by Galvin’s 6-for-9 effort from distance. Stevenson wasn’t very good at the charity stripe either as they made just 7-of-15 for the game.
York managed to out-rebound their hosts 42-37 for the game while they also held a 32-14 edge in points in the pain. The Spartans had a 13-0 bulge in fast break points. The Green and White forced 22 Stevenson turnovers which they turned into 27 points.
The Spartans now set their sights on the University of Mary Washington Eagles as they travel to York for a Monday night Capital Athletic Conference showdown. The Eagles are two games back of the Spartans in the CAC standings heading into the game. Tip time at Charles Wolf Gymnasium is set for 6:00 pm.
Keli Ward photo courtesy of Steve Doemland