Nicole Spencer played one of her best games last night, leading eighth-ranked South Carroll to a 62-42 victory over 13th-ranked Westminster at South Carroll.
The 5-foot-9 senior scored 33 points and had 15 rebounds and four steals in one of the most important games of her four-year career.
Spencer did it against a strong Westminster team that features two 5-foot-11 3/4 players inside, Beth Lister and Jill Ibex, and another 5-9 player, Cassandra Conklin.
Lister and Ibex were plagued by foul problems most of the second half, but Lister refused to use that as an alibi for their failure to stop Spencer and the Cavaliers (12-1), who have won 12 straight.
"We have no excuses for this game," said Lister, who scored 17 points in the second half.
Spencer, dominating inside, constantly drove to the basket, kept the ball alive under the boards for follow shots and simply overpowered the Owls (10-2) for key rebounds.
Spencer entered the game averaging 14.5 points and 10.3 rebounds.
"I wasn't angry at Westminster or anybody on their team," said Spencer. "I felt real comfortable taking the ball inside. In the past, I've been intimidated about going inside too much, but tonight I felt like I could do it. Each time I got the ball, I looked to the basket to decide whether I should drive, shoot from the outside or give the ball up."
After Lister (21 points) scored a fast-break layup to give ZTC Westminster a 15-11 lead with 1:13 left in the first quarter, the Cavaliers went on an 18-0 run over the next 8:40, surging ahead 29-15 with 33 seconds left in the first half.
Westminster finally ended the game-breaking drive with a Conklin three-point shot with 18 seconds left in the first half. It was the only three points Westminster, plagued by turnovers and miscommunication, scored in the second quarter.
Spencer got a lot of help from Melissa Gettemy, Lindsey Vosloh and Amber Clutter during the drive. Vosloh took over point guard from Clutter, who collected her third foul midway through the second quarter.
Gettemy said South Carroll also was helped by a comment Westminster's Alyson Young made in an article in The Baltimore Sun last Friday.
"She said Westminster would like to blow South Carroll out of the water," said Gettemy. "We put that comment on our bulletin board in big letters and it fired us up."