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Sparkman Moves to Fourth as York Secure #2 Seed on Senior Night
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YORK, Pa. – The York College women's basketball team earned their 20th victory of the season on Wednesday night, bouncing back from their loss to #8 Mary Washington with an 85-46 victory over Wesley. The Spartan victory moves the squad to 20-4 and 13-2 in the conference while Wesley drops to an overall record of 6-18 and 3-12 in the conference.
Senior night for the Spartans and April Sparkman could not have been scripted much better. The senior standout posted a solid 17 points, as that performance brought her career total to 1,530. Sparkman's effort allowed her to pass former Spartan All-American Keli Ward for the fourth spot on the program's all-time scoring list.
York also posted a two more achievements tonight as Brittany Hicks and Aja Wallpher put together strong performances for the Spartan side. Hicks dominated on the boards as she established a new career high with 17 rebounds, topping her 15-carom showing against Hood earlier this season. Wallpher passed her career high in assists by registering 14 helpers tonight, breaking her previous best of 13.
The Spartan victory came from a well-balanced attack. York tallied solid contributions from Kelsey Murphy, Kristen Haley, Sparkman, and Brittany Hicks who all scored in double digits. Hicks led all scorers with 22 points.
In the opening minutes Murphy came out firing, making a pair of triples over a two-minute span as those buckets sandwiched a Hicks jumper. The Green and White used the spark from Murphy to get the night going did not look back. With ten minutes to go in the first half, Sparkman added a jumper and layup to extend the lead to 26-13, giving the Spartans a 13-point margin.
Senior Brittany Percich contributed late in the first half with two jumpers both assisted by Wallpher. The Spartans entered halftime with a commanding 45-24 advantage.
Following the break, Haley provided the scoring quickly with two points from the line to begin a 13-2 spurt. That effort extended York's lead to 30 at 58-28 with 16:05 remaining in the CAC contest. The Spartan lead did not drop below 21 the rest of the way.
Hicks proved a major factor in the victory as she constantly corralled loose balls. On numerous occasions a ball on the floor or a missed shot belonged to the tough Spartan sophomore. Hicks' effort kept the Spartans composed and able to keep the comfortable lead and cost to an 85-46 victory. She finished the game with 22 points, including a flawless 5-for-5 from the line, and 17 rebounds. On the strength of her outstanding work, which included eight offensive rebounds, Hicks notched her ninth double-double on the 2011-2012 season.
As a team the Spartans outrebounded Wesley 53-27.
Jazmine Miller and Heather Fuller provided Wesley with 30 of their 46 points. Miller tallied a 17-point effort on 6-for-13 shooting and 4-for-4 from the charity stripe while Fuller totaled 13.
Prior to tonight's contest, the Spartans recognized seniors Khadija Mitchell, Percich, and Sparkman for their contributions to the squad during their careers. Over the previous four seasons, York has amassed a solid 75-40 record, including a 46-17 mark in CAC regular season play, made two trips to the NCAA Tournament and won the 2010-2011 CAC Tournament Championship.
With tonight's victory, the Spartans secure the number two seed for the upcoming 2011-2012 Capital Athletic Conference Tournament. This ensures York of a first-round bye and a home game on Thursday, February 23.
The Green and White do have one more regular season contest left however as they close out the scheduled slate this Saturday with a trip to Salisbury. Tip off in Salisbury is slated for 2:00 pm.
PHOTO: Spartan seniors (left to right) Khadija Mitchell, April Sparkman, and Brittany Percich pose for a photo following their respective senior night reconigtions. Courtesy of Brent Duffy - York College (Pa.) Athletic Communications Intern.
Game recap written by Travis Bowman - York College (Pa.) Athletic Communications Practicum Student.