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YORK, PA – In a battle for sole possession of second place in the Captial Athletic Conference, the York College women's basketball team placed four players in double figures as the Spartans earned a 70-56 conference win over Salisbury University on Saturday afternoon in York. The Spartans improve to 12-3 overall and 6-1 in the league while the Gulls fall to 7-6 overall and 5-2 in the conference.
The Spartans got off to a great start as they led 14-7 just over seven minutes into the game. The Green and White pushed the led to 13 on an April Sparkman three at the 7:59 mark. The Sea Gulls cut it nine only to have York push it back to 13 at 30-17 with 5:42 left in the half.
Salisbury answered York's early advantage with an 11-2 spurt, cutting the hosts' lead to just four at 32-28. Sparkman got a lay up with 33 seconds left in the half to give York a 34-28 lead heading to the break. The Spartan advantage could have been greater as York shot 56.5% from the floor but the Green and White committed 12 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes of play.
The Sea Gulls got a Nicole Sisco hoop to start the second half but York scored seven of the next nine points of the game to take a 41-32 lead. The Spartans increased the lead to 13 on a Jess Selby triple at the 13:05 mark. The Sea Gulls made one more run at York, cutting the Spartan lead to seven courtesy of a 9-3 run with 9:45 left. York responded with a quick 6-0 spurt as Brittany Hicks had a three-point play and Kelsey Murphy followed with a triple from the top of the key, pushing the lead back to 13. Salisbury trimmed the York lead to nine three times over the final seven minutes but the hosts answered each time, quickly increasing the lead back to double figures. York pushed the lead to as many as 16 before settling for the 14-point win.
Sparkman led the Spartans as she poured in 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor including 2-of-4 from three and a 5-of-8 mark from the free throw line. The sophomore tandem of Hicks and Kristen Haley each notched double-doubles in the win. Hicks had 12 points and 11 rebounds while Haley had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Hicks was 3-for-6 from the floor including 1-for-2 from three. She also was 5-for-7 from the stripe as she recorded her sixth career double-double. Haley was 5-for-9 from the field and 1-for-2 from the line. The double-double for Haley is her sixth of the year. Murphy was the fourth Spartan in double figures with 10 points.
Sophomore point guard Aja Wallpher registered one of her finest floor games in her time as a Spartan. Wallpher had a career-high 13 assists while she also had four blocked shots, a career-high tying seven steals, six points and three rebounds in her 38 minutes of work.
Sisco led the Gulls with 19 points off the bench. The forward was 8-for-14 from the floor and 2-for-4 from the line. Sisco also pulled in eight rebounds and collected three steals. Freshman Anna Hackett contributed 12 points, five rebounds, and five assists while Katie McGahagan was the third Gull in double figures with 10 points.
The Spartans committed 20 turnovers which led to the Gulls having a whopping 21 more shot attempts from the field. York shot a season-best 52.3% from the floor including 43.8% (7-for-16) from three. The Spartans made 17-of-23 (73.9%) from the stripe including 13-of-17 in the second half.
Salisbury shot 35.4% from the field including 0-for-7 from distance. The Sea Gulls converted 10-of-14 (71.4%) from the line.
York outrebounded the Sea Gulls 36-33 but Salisbury managed 17 offensive rebounds, which led to 20 second chance points.
The Spartans return to action on Wednesday night when they host Stevenson University in a CAC contest. Tip time at Charles Wolf Gymnasium is scheduled for 6:00 pm.
Aja Wallpher photo courtesy of Mike Zortman