YORK, PA-The York College women’s basketball
team clinched their first Capital Athletic Conference regular
season championship with their 81-53 Capital
Athletic Conference victory over Gallaudet on Wednesday night
in York. The Spartans extended their school record win streak to 23
as they now stand at 23-1 overall and 15-0 in the CAC. The Bison
finish their season with a mark of 5-19 overall and 0-16 in the
league. The game also was the Spartans’ “Pink
Zone” game, as all proceeds from the contest went directly to
Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund.
York is ranked seventh in the WBCA USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll and ninth in the d3hoops.com Top 25 Poll.
The Spartans were not at their sharpest all night as they never seemed to really get into sync offensively. The Spartans, who never trailed in the game, opened up an 11 point lead just under nine minutes into the game. The Bison cut the Spartan advantage down to seven at 20-13, but York quickly pushed the advantage back into double digits at 25-15. The Bison trimmed the lead down to nine on a Lani Murashige three with 4:48 left, but York finished the half on an 11-4 run that handed the Spartans a 40-24 lead at the intermission.
Sophomore guard April Sparkman (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) was on fire in the opening 20 minutes as she poured in 17 points in just 14 minutes of action. She also had five rebounds in the stanza.
The Green and White opened the second half with a 15-4 spurt to put any hopes of a Bison upset on ice. The Bison continued to battle as they drew to within 18 midway through the half only to have York to push the lead up to 30 just over three minutes later. York increased the lead to as many as 34 before settling for the 28-point win.
Sparkman led the Spartans with 21 points while she also had nine rebounds, and four assists. Sparkman was 9-of-15 from the floor and 3-for-8 from three. Senior Keli Ward (Nottingham, Pa./Oxford) notched her 14th double-double of the year with 15 points and game-high 11 assists. She also had six rebounds, four steals, and three blocked shots. Ward’s eighth assist of the evening pushed her over the 600 career assist mark, increasing the school record she already owns. Sophomore Jaimie Sapp (Bluemount, Va./Loudon Valley) was the third Spartan in double figures with 13 points and six rebounds. Sapp was 4-for-6 from the floor and a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line.
Nukeitra Hayes led the Bison with 22 points while she also had six rebounds, three steals, and two blocked shots. Hayes was 10-for-18 from the floor and 2-for-5 from the floor. Brittainy Payne notched a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds. She was 5-for-18 from the floor and 1-for-2 from the charity stripe.
The Spartans finished the game shooting 41.7% from the floor, 32.1% from three and a crisp 92.3% (12-for-13) from the free throw line. The Bison struggled to 32.4% shooting from the field, 14.3% from three and 47.1% (8-for-17) from the free throw line. York out-rebounded their guests 50-46 while the Green and White also held a 25-18 edge in second chance points.
The Spartans will now turn their attention to Marymount on Saturday afternoon. The Saints sewed up the number two seed in the CAC with Wednesday’s win will look to exact some revenge for the Spartans’ victory on January 24. The game will be preceded by the Spartans’ senior day as York’s six seniors will be recognized for their outstanding contributions to the program. Tip time at Wolf Gymnasium is set for 4:00 pm.