LANCASTER, PA – The York College women's basketball team picked up their first win of the season and, in the process, advanced to the championship game of the Terry Greene Memorial Tournament hosted by Franklin & Marshall College. The Spartans bested the Diplomats 57-50 in the tournament semifinals as they now advance to face Elizabethtown College in the tournament finals on Sunday afternoon.
The Spartans got off to a good start as they led 13-6 just over five minutes into the game. The Green and White pushed the lead to 12 on a Kristen Haley three and a lay up by senior April Sparkman. The Diplomats trimmed the lead six on an Elizabeth Snyder three with 5:30 left in the opening half. The Spartans responded quickly with a Brittany Hicks three and a Kelsey Murphy lay up as the lead grew back to 11 at 25-14. The Spartans eventually settled for a 29-20 lead at the intermission.
York got the first bucket of the second half but then the Diplomats slowly started the chip away at the Spartan lead. F&M cut the Spartan lead to four twice, the second time coming on a Emma Lisle jumper with just under 15 minutes left in the game. The Spartans scored the next six points, pushing the lead back up to 10 at 43-33. The Diplomats then fashioned a prolonged 15-5 run as they tied the game at 48 on a pair of Alexa Barbush free throws with 4:59 remaining in regulation.
The Spartans recaptured the lead on a triple from freshman Taylor Santor. F&M cut the lead to one on a pair of free throws but Sparkman scored the final six points of the game to secure the win for the Green and White.
Sparkman led the Spartans with a double-double as she poured in 16 points while she also pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds. Sparkman was 6-for-12 from the field and 4-for-5 from the free throw line. Haley was limited to just 23 minutes because of foul trouble but the Spartan forward added 15 points and eight rebounds. Haley was 5-for-7 from the floor including a perfect 1-for-1 from three and 4-for-4 from the stripe. Hicks was the third Spartan in double figures with 11 points while she also pulled in six rebounds.
Barbush led all scorers with 21 points, as she was 7-for-15 from the floor and 7-for-12 from the free throw line. Snyder was the other Diplomat in double figures as she chipped in with 11 points. Colleen Bott pulled in a team-high eight rebounds for F&M.
The Spartans shot 43.2% from the floor for the game including 33.3% (4-for-12) from three. York was deadly from the free throw line as they drilled home 15-of-17 (88.2%) for the contest. The Spartans limited the Diplomats to just 24.2% shooting in the contest. F&M was 3-for-17 from distance while they made 15-of-24 (62.5%) from the free throw line. The Spartans dominated on the glass as they outrebounded their hosts 45-35 for the game. The Diplomats did have 20 offensive rebounds as they attempted 19 more shots than the Spartans in the game.
York has held their two opponents this year to just 33.1% shooting from the floor and 25% from three.
The Spartans kept the Diplomats in the game as they committed 28 turnovers in the game. Those miscues allowed F&M to record 24 points.
The Green and White will now attempt to knock off defending tournament champion Elizabethtown in Sunday's title tilt at 3:00 pm. The Blue Jays advanced to the tournament finals courtesy of a come-from-behind 71-70 win over Immaculata in Saturday's first semifinal contest.