YORK, PA-Senior guard
Amanda Andrews (Fallston, Md./Fallston) poured in
a career-high 26 points to lead the Spartans to another big win as
the Spartans rolled past Buffalo State, 82-48, in the opening round
of the Hampton Inn Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in York. The
Spartans, winners of nine straight, improve to 9-1 overall while
the Bengals fall to 1-8 for the campaign.
The Spartans showed a little rust in the first half but you would not know by the score. York ran out to a 15-5 lead just over five minutes into the game. The Green and White went through a scoring drought midway through the stanza but fortunately for York, the Bengals were also having trouble finding the bottom of the net as the guest could not dig into the Spartan advantage.
With the Spartans holding a seven point lead with just under eight minutes left in the half, the hosts embarked on a 23-4 run to close out the half as the lead ballooned to 47-21 at the half. The run was keyed by Andrews as the senior had 10 of the 23 points during the spurt.
The Green and White shot a blistering 56.7% from the floor in the first half but committed an uncharacteristic 10 turnovers, keeping the score from getting too far out of hand for the Bengals.
York scored seven of the first nine points of the second half to push the lead to 31 just two minutes into the second 20 minutes of play. The Bengals scored the next six points to cut the Spartan lead to 25 but that would be as close as they would get the rest of the way. York built the lead to as many as 39 before substituting over the final eight minutes of the game, allowing all 13 Spartans to play at least six minutes in the game.
Andrews finished the game shooting 9-for-13 from the floor including a school record 6-for-7 (85.7%) from three for the game. She also went 2-for-3 from the charity stripe. Andrews added four rebounds, four assists, and two steals in her 30 minutes of work. Senior Keli Ward (Nottingham, Pa./Oxford) contributed 12 points, a game-high eight rebounds, four assists, a blocked shot and a steal for York. Ward was 4-for-8 from the floor including a three and a 3-for-4 effort at the free throw line. She enters the game Sunday needing just one assist to become the first Spartan in school history with 500 career assists. Sophomore April Sparkman (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) was the third Spartan in double figures with 12 points while she had five rebounds and five assists. Sparkman also blocked two shots as she played an outstanding floor game for the green and white.
Shareese Hamer and Sarah Thompson each tallied 12 points to lead the Bengal offense. Hamer was 6-for-17 from the floor while she also had six rebounds. Thompson was a sharp 6-for-8 from the field while she also contributed four rebounds and two assists.
The Spartans finished the contest converting 52.8% from the floor and a very impressive 61.1% (8-for-13) from three. York finished 18-for-22 from the charity stripe for the game.
The Bengals shot 33.9% from the field including an 0-for-8 mark from distance. Buffalo State made 15 trips to the line, converting just six attempts for an accuracy mark of 40%.
The Spartans will now face Franklin & Marshall in the tournament championship game. Tip time at the Grumbacher Center is set for 2:00 pm on Sunday afternoon. The Bengals will face North Park, a 79-51 loser to the Diplomats in the day’s first game, in the consolation game. Tip time for the consolation game is scheduled for 12:00 pm.
Amanda Andrews photo courtesy of Steve Doemland