YORK, Pa. – Led by a trio of double-doubles, the York College women's basketball team posted a 76-70 triumph over visiting FDU-Florham in the first round of the women's side of the annual Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in York. With the victory, the Spartans pick up their ninth straight win and improve to 9-1 on the season while the Devils drop to 4-7 on the campaign.
April Sparkman, Brittany Hicks, and Kristen Haley each notched a double-double for the Green and White en route to the non-conference triumph. Sparkman's 18 points and 11 rebounds proves her fifth double-double of the season and 20th of her remarkable career. Hicks registered 16 and 11 for the Spartans while Haley contributed ten points and ten caroms for the tenth double-double of her brief Spartan career.
Sophomore guard Kelsey Murphy put together a quality shooting night both from the floor and from the stripe as she canned a game-high 19 points. Murphy, who tied her season-best scoring output, went 5-for-8 from the field including 3-for-6 from three-point range while adding a 6-for-8 effort at the free throw line.
Racing out to an early double-digit margin, the Spartans led 20-10 just 9:02 into the contest. That advantage would extend to as much as 17 in the first stanza following a made Haley free throw with 7:42 left in the opening frame.
Up 12 at the half, the Spartans found themselves in a second-half tussle as Florham scrapped their way back into the contest during the latter 20 minutes. After having trailed since the 14:27 mark of the first, the Devils chipped away at the York lead until a Leigh-Ann Lively triple with 11:16 remaining in the game gave the visitors a 57-56 lead.
Despite the brief setback, the Green and White would regain the lead 4:29 later as Murphy tallied her 16th and 17th points of the game on a layup. Now owning a 61-60 maring with 6:47 left, the Green and White never surrendered the lead from there posting a 17-10 advantage throughout those final minutes.
York's outstanding free throw shooting down the stretch proved a decisive factor in their ninth win of the season. Over the final 3:52, the Spartans went 9-for-12 from the stripe as four different players stepped to the line during that span.
For the contest, Sparkman was 6-for-12 from the field while adding five assists while Hicks registered a majority of her points from the stripe as she knocked down 10-of-11 attempts, tying her career high for made free throws. Point guard Aja Wallpher recorded eight assists for York while she posted a clutch 4-for-6 from the free throw line, including a 3-for-4 effort over the final 2:23.
Florham put together a balanced effort as four players each dropped double-figures in points. Lively and Jalessa Lewis each totaled 17 points including Lively's 9-for-11 performance from the charity stripe. Kyra Dayon added a double-double of her own with ten points and 13 rebounds while Brianna Nichols added 13 points.
The Spartans are now slated to take on #6 William Paterson in the Coaches vs. Cancer Championship as the Pioneers were 64-49 winners over Ursinus in the other first-round tilt. York and Paterson square off for the title at 3:00 pm following the Florham vs. Ursinus game at 1:00 pm.
Tournament Box Scores:
PHOTO: April Sparkman lines up a free throw during York's 76-70 triumph over FDU-Florham in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. Courtesy of Zach Clabaugh - www.sharpedgefoto.com