Ward's Triple-Double Leads Spartans in Romp

  YORK, PA-The York College women’s basketball squad rolled to a 99-63 non-conference victory over Rowan University on Tuesday night in York. The Spartans even their record at 1-1 while the Profs fall to 0-1. The 99 points are the most the Spartans have scored in a game since December 3, 2003 when they handed Gallaudet a 118-66 loss.
    The story of the game was not only the prolific Spartan offense but the performance of senior point guard Keli Ward (Nottingham, Pa./Oxford) as she recorded her second career triple-double. Ward poured in 21 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and tied her career high with 11 assists. Ward was 7-for-12 from the floor including 5-for-9 from three and 2-for-2 from the free throw line. Incredibly, she did all the damage in just 29 minutes of work. Ward has 22 assists and five turnovers in 66 minutes of action this year. She is averaging 19.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game so far this season as she continues to perform as one of the top players in Spartan history.
    The Spartans began the game by jumping out to a 7-0 lead just over two minutes into the game. Rowan cut the lead to 9-6 but the Spartans managed to fashion an impressive 21-3 run that covered six and a half minutes, pushing the Spartan lead to 30-9. The Spartan lead wavered between 19 and 24 points before the Spartans scored the final ten points of the half to take a 48-17 lead to the break.
    The Spartans got out of the gate quickly in the second half as they built the lead to 46 twice with the second time coming on a pair of Donna Figenshu (Kennett Square, Pa./Unionville) free throws with 10:58 remaining in the half. Spartan head coach Betsy Witman, who had been substituting liberally in the contest, allowed a number of non-starters extended time and Rowan used that to cut the lead to 34 but York had more than enough to post the 36-point win.
    In addition to Ward, sophomore April Sparkman (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) had a big night as she poured in a career-high 19 points while she also had eight rebounds, and a career-high six assists in 32 minutes. Sparkman was 7-for-11 from the floor including 2-for-4 from three and 3-for-3 from the free throw line. Senior captain Amanda Andrews (Fallston, Md./Fallston) played a very solid game with 14 points, a career-high tying five assists and five rebounds. Senior Chanel Perez (Biglerville, Pa./Gettysburg) was the fourth Spartan with double figures as she tallied 10 points and four rebounds in 17 minutes of action. Senior Amy Fry (Carlisle, Pa./Big Spring) chipped in with five points, four assists, six rebounds, and a pair of steals for YCP.
    The Profs were led by Ashley Cieplicki as she tallied 17 points and three rebounds. Cieplicki was 6-for-12 from the field and 5-for-7 from the free throw line. Thena Gaines recorded a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Jessica Nimbley was the third Prof in double figures with 12 points, four rebounds, four steals, and three assists.
    The Spartans shot the ball well all night as they finished the contest shooting 53.6% from the floor. York shot a blistering 50% (11-for-22) from three while they converted 14-of-18 (77.8%) from the free throw line. Rowan scuffled to 22.2% (6-for-27) shooting in the decisive first half. The Profs found their legs in the second half shooting 57.1% (20-for-35) but that would not be enough to overcome their dismal first half performance. The Profs finished the game shooting 41.9% from the field, 20% (1-for-5) from three, and 10-of-14 (71.4%) from the charity stripe.
    The Spartans out-rebounded their guests, 42-31, as they held Rowan to just seven offensive rebounds. The Spartans handed out 29 assists but did commit 21 turnovers which converted into 23 Rowan points. The Profs had 24 miscues which York turned into 23 points of their own.
    York returns to action on Saturday afternoon when they compete in the Mike Durgala Memorial Tournament hosted by Johns Hopkins University. The Spartans face the Albright Lions in the opening round at 3:00 pm in Baltimore. 


Keli Ward photo courtesy of Eric Linsley