Outstanding Defense Lifts Spartans to CAC Win over St. Mary's

    YORK, PA-The York College women’s basketball team made their debut as a nationally ranked team a successful one Wednesday night as the Spartans downed St. Mary’s College, 64-42, in Capital Athletic Conference action in York. The Spartans, who increase their school record win streak to 13, are now 13-1 overall and a perfect 6-0 in the CAC. The Seahawks fall to 3-9 overall and 2-3 in the league.
    The Spartans are ranked 21st in the d3hoops.com Top 25 poll while the Green and White are 22nd in the WBCA USA Today/ESPN Coaches Top 25.
    The first half was far from a work of art as there appeared to be lids on each basket. The Spartans got a jumper from Keli Ward (Nottingham, Pa./Oxford) just 15 seconds into the game to seize the early lead. However, the Spartans, despite having a number of great looks in the early part of the game, did not score again until the 14:27 mark courtesy of a Jaimie Sapp (Bluemont, Va./Loundon Valley) jumper. The Spartans began the game 1-for-9 from the floor and were 2-13 until they took a 7-2 lead on an April Sparkman (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) three with 13:16 remaining in the half.
    Fortunately for the Spartans, while they were struggling from the field, their defensive effort was solid. York limited St. Mary’s to a 3-for-14 start to the game as the hosts never trailed.
    York pushed their lead to 16-6 midway through the half but the Seahawks got their legs underneath them and cut the Spartan lead to 18-16 courtesy of a 10-2 spurt that covered 3:35. The Spartans closed out the half with a 9-3 run to take a 27-19 lead to the break.
    Both teams struggled from the field in the opening 20 minutes as York shot 30.8% while the Hawks were held to 26.7% shooting in the stanza.
    The Spartans came out of the break and extended their lead to 15 just over five minutes into the half. The Seahawks kept battling and pulled to within 12 twice before the Spartans pulled away with a 15-4 run that pushed the lead to 55-32 with 5:58 remaining in the game. The Spartan lead climbed to 28 twice before the hosts settled for the 22-point win.
    York was again paced by the play of Ward, as the reigning CAC Player-of-the-Week tallied 13 points, six rebounds, nine assists and just one turnover in 35 minutes of action. She was 6-for-12 from the floor and 1-for-2 from the line. Senior Chanel Perez (Biglerville, Pa./Gettysburg) added nine points, nine rebounds, two assists and three blocked shots to the Spartan effort. Sparkman recorded nine points five rebounds, and three assists while senior Amanda Andrews (Fallston, Md./Fallston) chipped in with eight points. Sapp tied Perez for the team lead in rebounds with nine while she also had six points and two blocked shots.
    Tiara Hurte paced St. Mary’s as she poured in a game-high 18 points while she also had six rebounds. Hurte was 8-for-19 from the floor and 2-for-4 from the line. Jamie Roberts also reached double figures for the Seahawks as she tallied 13 points in 38 minutes of action. Roberts was 5-for-12 from the floor and 3-for-6 from the free throw line.
    The Spartans shot 55.2% in the second half to finished the game at 41.2% from the floor for the game. York was 4-for-14 from three for the game while the Seahawks went 0-for-3. St. Mary’s shot just 29% from floor for the game. It is the fifth time this year that the Spartans have limited an opponent to under 30% shooting from the field. Both teams struggled from the line as St. Mary’s was 6-for-13 and York was a season-worst 4-for-10.
    The Green and White finished the game holding a 48-44 edge on the glass as York had a 15-10 edge in second chance points and a 14-4 advantage in fast break points. York also forced 20 St. Mary’s turnovers which produced 21 Spartan points.
    The Spartans are now off until Monday, January 19 when they host Wesley College in what will be a pivotal Capital Athletic Conference contest. Tip time at Charles Wolf Gymnasium is slated for 6:00 pm.


Keli Ward photo courtesy of Eric Linsley