ST. MARY’S CITY, MD-York College sophomore guard Nick Brady (Hanover, Pa./Delone Catholic) drained a pair of free throws with 3.1 seconds left in overtime to lift the Spartans to an 85-84 Capital Athletic Conference win at St. Mary’s College on Wednesday night. The win is the Spartans’ fifth straight as they improve to 9-4 overall and 4-1 in the CAC. The Seahawks fall to 7-7 overall and 2-3 in the league.
Brady’s heroics came because the Spartans nearly threw the game away at the end of regulation. The Spartans looked like they had the game sealed in regulation as they led 79-70 with 54 seconds left on a Brady fast break lay up. The Seahawks then cut into the lead with a Tyson Lesesne three with 44.6 seconds remaining. After a Spartan turnover, Mike Fitzpatrick cut into the lead further with a pair of free throws with 41.9 left. Brady spilt a pair of free throws with 40.8 remaining but a Calvin Wise stick back trimmed the York lead to 80-77 with just over 28 seconds left. York’s Nate Lankford (York, Pa./West York) came up short on a pair of free throws with just over 27 seconds left and St. Mary’s converted on their end as Lesesne drained a three with seven seconds left, tying the game at 80. York’s game-winning attempt fell short and the two teams headed to an extra session.
In overtime, St. Mary’s had all the momentum as Kyle Jarczynski hit a jumper just 29 seconds into the extra five minutes. Both teams had chances to add to their score over the next two minutes but neither team capitalized on their chances until Lankford split a pair of free throws with 2:46 left. St. Mary’s Mike Smelkinson converted two free throws 17 seconds later, pushing the St. Mary’s lead to 84-81. Senior All-American Chad McGowan (Dallastown, Pa./Dallastown) hit a tough lay up and was fouled but he missed the free throw as York trailed 84-83 with 1:34 remaining. St. Mary’s and York each missed on their ensuing possession and then York forced a Smelkinson miss with 23 seconds remaining. McGowan pulled down the carom and the green and white called time out with 15 seconds left. After the time out, the clock was running down and Brady drove to the lane where he was fouled by Alex Franz. Brady calmly stepped to the line and buried both attempts to give the green and white the win. St. Mary’s was unable to get a shot off as Smelkinson was trapped at half court as time expired.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair as there were six ties and seven lead changes. York’s largest lead was six and came at the end of the half while St. Mary’s largest advantage was four and came in the opening minutes of the game.
Early in the second half, the Spartans built the lead to eight at 46-38 but the hosts smacked the Spartans with a 12-4 run to tie the game at 50. That began a stretch that saw the game tied five times with two lead changes. The final tie game at 60 with 8:06 remaining. The Spartans pushed the lead to six before the Seahawks cut the lead to one at 71-70. The Spartans used the next two minutes to push the lead to nine before the Seahawks ended regulation on a 10-1 run, forcing overtime.
McGowan led the Spartans with 31 points and 11 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the year. He was 12-for-22 from the floor while he also made seven free throws. Fellow senior Levi Winters (Manchester, Pa./Northeastern) chipped in with 19 points and six rebounds as he was an efficient 7-for-12 from the field and a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe. Sophomore Jeremy Keefer (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra) recorded his second consecutive double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Keefer also blocked two shots in a career-high 36 minutes of action. Brady was the fourth Spartan in double figures with 11 points including his game-winning free throws.
Lesesne led the hosts with 22 points, five rebounds, four steals, and three assists. He was 9-for-18 from the floor, 3-for-8 from distance, and 1-for-1 from the line. Mike Bowden added 16 points and nine rebounds while Wise had a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Smelkinson had 12 points but was 3-for-16 from the floor but was 6-for-8 from the free throw line. Fitzpatrick was the fifth Seahawk in double figures with 10 points.
York finished the game shooting 45.1% from the floor and 33.3% from distance. The Spartans struggles at the free throw line reappeared as they went just 17-for-31, a mark of 54.8%. That percentage almost cost them as they went 3-for-7 in overtime and just 3-for-8 in the final 1:11 of regulation, allowing the hosts to get back into the game.
St. Mary’s shot 44.3% from the field and 29.4% from distance. The Seahawks were good at the line, making 9-of-12 for the game. The Spartans held a 49-43 edge on the glass while they also held a 17-12 edge in second chance points. Both teams scored 13 points off turnovers while the Spartans held a slight 52-50 margin in points in the paint.
The green and white return to action on Saturday night when they travel to Messiah for their final non-conference contest of the year. Game time is set for 7:00 pm in Grantham, PA.
Nick Brady photo courtesy of Eric Linsley