FREDERICKSBURG, VA-The York
College women’s basketball team did something Wednesday night
that the 35 teams prior to them failed to do. The Spartans recorded
a 77-72 Capital Athletic Conference victory at the University
of Mary Washington Eagles in Fredericksburg, VA. The York victory
snapped the Eagles’ 35-game Goolrick Gym home court win
York improves to 11-1 overall and 4-0 in the CAC as the Spartan win streak now stands at 11. The Eagles fall to 9-2 overall and 2-1 in the CAC. Mary Washington is currently ranked 15th in the WBCA USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ Poll and 17th in the d3hoops.com poll.
The squads took turn riding momentum in the first half. The Spartans led by six, at 15-9, just under five minutes into the game. The Eagles, after three ties, took their first lead of the game on a Lauren Kornacki lay up with 9:22 remaining in the half. The lead grew to four on another Kornacki lay up but the Spartans responded with a huge 14-3 run over the last eight minutes of the half to take a 36-29 lead to the break. The run was capped by an Amanda Andrews (Fallston, Md./Fallston) three and an April Sparkman (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) lay up over the last 31 seconds to give York all the momentum heading to intermission.
The first half statistics were about as even as they could be. York shot 51.6% from the floor to 44.8% for the Eagles. However the hosts held a 19-15 edge in rebounding. Both teams made just one first half free throw while York had a trio of three-pointers to two for the Eagles.
The second half resembled a yo-yo much of the time. York would build on their lead only to have Mary Washington cut into the deficit and nearly recapture the lead. York maintained their second half between three and seven points over the opening eight minutes of the half until Mary Washington cut the lead to one at 46-45 on a a Katy Larson jumper. After a York time out, senior Keli Ward (Nottingham, Pa./Oxford) hit a lay up followed by a three to push the lead back to six. Mary Washington again trimmed the lead to one, this time on a pair of Ashton Mitchell free throws with 4:39 left in the game. The Spartans responded again with an Andrews three and a pair of Ward free throws to push the York lead back up to six at 66-60.
Not to be deterred, the Eagles again cut the Spartan lead to one at 70-69 with 1:09 remaining but Ward hit another tough lay up and the Spartans converted five of seven free throws over the final 27 seconds to secure the victory. The victory snaps a four game losing streak against the Eagles.
Ward led the Spartans as the senior point guard tallied her 19th career double-double with 19 points and a career-high 13 assists. She pulled down four rebounds and notched two steals as she played all 40 minutes for the Green and White. Ward was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line including four big conversions in the last 27 seconds of the game. Sparkman added 17 points and four rebounds in 38 minutes of action. Senior Chanel Perez (Biglerville, Pa./Gettysburg) also played well for York with 16 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Andrews was the final Spartan in double figures with 12 points on a trio of threes and three free throws. Andrews also pulled in six rebounds for the victorious Spartans.
Mitchell led the Eagles as the forward had a monster effort with 31 points and nine rebounds. Mitchell was 11-for-17 from the floor and 9-for-10 from the free throw line. Mitchell also had two blocks and two assists. Freshman Katie Wimmer was the other Eagle in double figures with 10 points in 30 minutes of action. The Eagles also received seven points, six rebounds, and two assists from Jenna McRae while Kornacki chipped in with eight points and four rebounds.
The Spartans finished the game shooting 50.9% while the Eagles shot an even 50%. York was an efficient 5-for-13 from three and 18-for-24 from the free throw line. Mary Washington was just 2-for-11 from three while they shot 73.7% (14-for-19) from the free throw line.
For just the second time this year, the Spartans were out-rebounded in the game as UMW held a 34-28 edge on the glass. York had a season-low 12 turnovers in the game while they shot over 50% for the seventh time this year.
The Spartans return to action on Saturday afternoon when they host Salisbury University in a Capital Athletic Conference contest. Tip time at Charles Wolf Gymnasium is set for 4:00 pm.