January 10, 2009

Huge Second Half Propels Spartans to 12th Straight Win

YORK, PA – The York College women’s basketball team used a 40-point second half to roll past Salisbury University, 78-44, in Capital Athletic Conference action on Saturday afternoon in York. The Spartans, winners of 12 straight, improve to 12-1 overall and 5-0 in the CAC. The Sea Gulls fall to 1-12 overall and 1-3 in the league.

The Green and White played much of the first half looking like a team coming off a huge win as they struggled to put the Gulls away early. The Spartans, fresh off their 77-72 victory over nationally ranked Mary Washington on Wednesday, fell behind 4-0 early as they seemed a little out of synch. With the game tied at 11, the Spartans embarked on a 12-2 run as they took a 23-13 lead with 6:55 remaining in the stanza. The green and white pushed the lead to as many as 11 on four different occasions before senior Amanda Andrews (Fallston, Md./Fallston) canned a long three at the halftime horn, giving York a 38-26 lead at the break.

The Spartans came out of the intermission looking like a much more focused squad. The center of that focus came from senior point guard Keli Ward (Nottingham, Pa./Oxford) as she exploded out of the break, drilling jumpers on consecutive possessions. Those hoops kick started an 22-5 run that pushed the Spartan lead to 29 at 60-31 with 9:53 remaining in the game. The run was capped by a flurry of outstanding Spartan defense that saw them record a steal and a fast break lay up on four consecutive Sea Gull possessions.

The Spartan bulge grew to as many as 39 twice before the Green and White settled for their final 34 point margin of victory.

Ward paced the Spartans as she had 23 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals in 29 minutes of action. She finished the game shooting 8-for-12 from the floor including 3-for-5 from three and 4-for-5 at the free throw line. Her numbers were very impressive in the second half as she tallied 16 points in just 12 minutes of action. Sophomore April Sparkman (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) chipped in with 16 points, six rebounds, five assists, three steals, and a blocked shot. Sparkman was 6-for-12  from the floor, 1-for-1 from three, and 3-for-4 from the charity stripe. Andrews was the final Spartan in double figures as she contributed 14 points, a pair of rebounds, and a pair of steals in her 29 minutes of work. Senior Chanel Perez (Biglerville, Pa./Gettysburg) added eight points and a team-high eight rebounds to the Spartan attack. Junior Jamie Polan (York, Pa./West York) came off the bench to notch seven points, three assists, and three steals in just 15 minutes of play in the win.

Salisbury received a double-double from Kylie Hall as the forward tallied 15 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Hall was 5-for-11 from the floor and 5-for-9 for the free throw line. Katharine Curran chipped in with nine points and three boards while Glen Charlton notched eight points and two boards for the Gulls.

The Spartans finished the game shooting 49.2% from the floor and 50% (7-for-14) from three. York struggled uncharacteristically from the line as they were just 7-for-13 from the stripe (53.8%). The Spartans held the Gulls to 40% shooting from the field while Salisbury also did not fare well from the stripe, converting just 45.5% from the stripe.

York held a 34-32 edge in rebounding while the Spartans also had a 40-24 margin in points in the paint.  York forced 30 Salisbury turnovers which the Green and White converted into 32 points. The Spartans also had 18 fast break points in the game.

The Spartans return to action on Wednesday when they host St. Mary’s College in a Capital Athletic Conference tilt. Tip time at Wolf Gymnasium is set for 6:00 pm.

GAME BOX

Keli Ward photo courtesy of Steve Doemland