January 16, 2008

Turnovers and Rebounding Hurt Spartans in 89-86 Loss at Wesley

DOVER, DEL-The York College men’s basketball squad traveled to Wesley College to face a talented Wolverine squad on Wednesday night as the teams meet for the first time as conference rivals. The hosts used strong rebounding and defense that forced the Spartans into 24 turnovers as the Wolverines posted an 89-86 Capital Athletic Conference victory. The Spartans fall to 9-6 overall and 4-2 in the CAC while the Wolverines improve to 9-6 overall and also 4-2 in the league.

The green and white got off to a good start as they led 10-2 exactly four minutes into the game. The Spartans increased the lead to 30-16 on a Chris Folland (Sykesville, Md./Century) fast break lay up with 9:31 remaining in the half. The Wolverines chipped away at the Spartan lead until they pulled in front of the green and white 36-35 courtesy of a 20-5 spurt. That started an action filled last last 3:42 of the half as there were two ties and four lead changes in that final flurry. On the strength of a Nick Brady (Hanover, Pa./Delone Catholic) three and a Chad McGowan (Dallastown, Pa./Dallastown) free throw, the Spartans took a 44-43 lead at the break.

The green and white shot a blistering 72.7% from the floor in the first half including 5-for-10 from three. However, York struggled from the free throw line, converting just 7-of-14. They also turned the ball over 11 times while the Wolverines dominated the glass, out-rebounding York 25-16 in the half. The Spartans did not get an offensive rebound in the first 20 minutes while Wesley collected 15 offensive boards. That led to 17 second-chance points in the opening 20 minutes for the hosts. That margin on the offensive glass led the Wolverines to take 49 first half shots to just 22 for the green and white.

The second half did not begin well for the green and white as Wesley fashioned an early 8-0 lead to turn their 46-45 deficit into a 53-46 lead. The green and white tied the game at 55 courtesy of a 9-2 spurt keyed by McGowan as he notched seven points in the run. The Wolverines continued the theme of the second half as they put together an impressive 12-2 run that pushed their lead to 10 at 67-57 with 10:33 left in regulation. York cut the lead to three with a McGowan lay up, a Levi Winters (Manchester, Pa./Northeastern) lay up and a McGowan three but Wesley quickly scored the next five points to increase the lead back to eight. Wesley maintained their lead over the next four minutes, pushing their advantage to as high as nine.

With 3:42 remaining, Kevin Johnson canned a pair of free throws, increasing the Wesley lead to 84-75. McGowan hit a lay up to cut the led to seven. Brady followed with a traditional three point play, trimming the green and white deficit to four with 2:51 remaining. Turnovers reared their ugly head for York in the next two possessions as the Spartans wasted chances to cut into the Wesley lead. Wesley increased the lead to six on a pair of Rashawn Johnson free throws with 1:16 left but Winters hit a lay up with just over a minute left and McGowan converted a lay up with 47 seconds left to draw the Spartans to within two at 88-86. The Spartans played solid defense but allowed Wesley to collect their 25th offensive rebound of the night as Kevin Johnson corralled a missed three. Rashawn Johnson was fouled with nine seconds left, stepped to the line and drained one of two freebies, giving the Spartans a chance at a tie with a trey. York’s game-tying three missed the mark and the Spartans lost their second straight for the second time this season.

Wesley was paced by Rashawn Johnson as he pours in 21 points. He was 5-for-15 from the floor, 1-for-6 from three, and 10-for-11 from the free throw line. He entered the game as the leading scorer in the CAC, averaging 24 points per contest. Johnson also pulled down nine boards for the hosts. Kevin Johnson added 17 points and five rebounds while Evan Martin contributed 16 points, four rebounds and a pair of assists. Cody White was the fourth Wolverine in double figures with 15 points while he also pulled in eight rebounds. Alphonzo Wright paced the Wolverines on the boards with 12 caroms while he also had six points.

McGowan, the Spartans’ senior All-American, led the green and white with 25 points and 12 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the year. He was 10-for-14 from the field including a three. Winters added 20 points and four rebounds to the Spartan attack. He was 9-for-13 from the field while he also had four assists. Brady was the third Spartan in double figures with 17 points including four threes in the game. Senior Nate Lankford (York, Pa./West York) handed out nine assists while he also had six points and six rebounds.

The Spartans finished the game shooting 61.4% from the floor but thanks to Wesley’s huge edge on the offensive glass, York attempted 25 less shots for the game. Wesley shot 41.5% from the field but had just one less field goal than the Spartans. York held the Wolverines to just 19.2% shooting from three while the green and white went 41.2% from distance, making 7-of-17 from three. Wesley won the game at the free throw line as they went 16-for-22 (72.7%) while York went a paltry 9-for-18 (50%).

Wesley held a 45-36 edge in rebounding including a 25-7 advantage in offensive rebounds. The Wolverines used their advantage on the boards to fashion a 30-12 edge in second chance points. The Spartans’ 24 turnovers turned into 31 Wesley points.

The Spartans return to action on Saturday afternoon when they host Gallaudet University at the Grumbacher Sport & Fitness Center. Tip time is set for 2:00 pm.

GAME BOX