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Spartans Conclude Regular Season with 21st Victory of the Year
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SALISBURY, MD – The York College women's basketball team closed out their 2011-12 regular season with a 62-51 Capital Athletic Conference victory at Salisbury University on Saturday afternoon in Salisbury, MD.
The Spartans, who had the second seed in the upcoming CAC Tournament already locked up, improve to 21-4 overall and 14-2 in the CAC. The Sea Gulls, who will be the tournament's three seed, fall to 14-10 overall and 11-5 in the CAC.
York, much like they have over the last month and a half, got off to a great start as they began the game on a 16-5 run. Sophomore Kristen Haley opened the scoring with a lay up on York's first possession. After a Salisbury three pointer, fellow sophomore Kelsey Murphy drilled a three to give York a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the day.
The Sea Gulls trimmed York's lead to eight on a Cinthia Ruiz jumper at the 10:48 mark but York scored nine of the next 12 points of the game to push the lead to a half-high of 15 points at 29-14. The Spartan lead bounced between 12 and 14 points over the final four minutes of the half before York settled for the 33-21 halftime lead.
The Spartans continued to play well out of the break maintaining their lead in double digits. The Green and White pushed their advantage to a game-high 19 points on a Brittany Hicks three point with 10:22 remaining.
That's when the Sea Gulls started a spirited comeback. The Gulls fashioned a 12-1 run that covered just under five minutes as the once large York lead fell to a mere eight points with 5:43 left in the game.
York responded to the Salisbury charge with buckets from Haley and Hicks on consecutive possessions as the Spartan lead surged back to 12 with 3:43 remaining in the game. Salisbury would get back down to eight but York converted seven of eight from the free throw line over the final 1:11 of regulation to salt away the 11-point win.
The Spartans had four players reach double figures led by Hicks as the sophomore continues her late season roll. Hicks tallied 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the win. She was 6-for-13 from the floor including 1-of-3 from three while she was also 4-of-5 from the free throw line. Haley recorded her 10th double-double of the year as the forward had 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Murphy tallied 11 points and three steals while sophomore point guard Aja Wallpher was the fourth Spartan in double figures with 10 points, five assists, two blocks and two steals in her 37 minutes of work. Senior April Sparkman contributed nine points and nine rebounds in her final regular season collegiate contest.
McGahagan and Ruiz teamed to pace the Sea Gulls as they each tallied 14 points. McGahagan added a team-high nine rebounds while she also had two assists. Anna Hackett was the third Gull in double figures with 10 points.
York shot 40.8% from the field and 35.7% (5-of-14) from three. The Spartans connected on 17-of-25 (68%) from the charity stripe in the victory. Salisbury shot 32.7% from the floor, 33% (3-for-9) from three and 16-for-20 (80%) from the free throw line.
The Spartans forced 18 Salisbury turnovers and the Green and White turned that into 18 points.
With the second seed in next week's tournament, the Spartans earn a first round bye for Tuesday night's opening round. York will then host the winner of the Salisbury University/Stevenson University contest on Thursday night at 7:00 pm at Charles Wolf Gymnasium.