WASHINGTON, DC-The York College men’s basketball team captured their third Capital Athletic Conference regular season championship in the last four years as the Spartans rolled to a 112-69 victory at Gallaudet University on Wednesday night in Washington, DC. The Spartans, winners of nine straight, improve to 18-6 overall and 13-2 in the CAC. The Bison end their regular season with a mark of 6-19 overall and 4-12 in the CAC. The Bison are still alive to earn the final tournament berth in the CAC pending the outcome of Saturday’s action.
The early stages of the game saw the two teams go back-and-forth as the Bison held a 15-14 lead just over five minutes into the game. The Spartans then put together a 16-5 run that turned the one point deficit into a 30-20 lead with 8:28 remaining in the half. The Bison trimmed the Spartan lead to seven twice in the next three minutes with the last time coming at 37-30 with 5:30 left in the half. The Spartans then exploded with a 28-4 run that covered the final 5:15 of the half. The spurt started with a Nick Brady (Hanover, Pa./Delone Catholic) lay up and was closed with a Matty Foley (Frederick, Md./Gov. Thomas Johnson) three as York put the game out of reach. Brady had 12 points during the spurt while senior All-American Chad McGowan (Dallastown, Pa./Dallastown) added six points in the run. The Spartans scored 65 points in the half which is by far, the most in a first half this year.
The Spartans wasted little time in increasing the lead in the second half. Back-to-back thunder dunks from McGowan pushed the York lead to 45 at 85-40 just six minutes into the half. The 45 point margin was York’s largest of the night and was matched four other times during the second half. After McGowan’s jams, the Spartan lead would not fall below 38 the rest of the way as York cruised to its biggest win of the year.
McGowan paced the Spartans as he recorded a very efficient 24 points while he also had six rebounds, a career-high tying five assists, one steal and one block in just 20 minutes of action. He was 10-for-15 from the floor and 4-for-6 from the free throw line. McGowan’s 24 points tied him with Ken Riddick for second place on the all-time scoring list. Both Spartan greats have 1,937 points for their career. Senior Levi Winters (Manchester, Pa./Northeastern) was outstanding as he was two assists short of a triple-double. Winters had 17 points, 10 rebounds, and a career-high eight assists in just 25 minutes of action. Winters was 8-for-13 from the floor including 1-of-3 from distance. He also had a pair of steals for YCP. Brady chipped in with 17 points, four rebounds, three assists, and two steals while sophomore Jeremy Keefer (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra) came off the bench to record 14 points and pull in three rebounds. Senior Nate Lankford (York, Pa./West York) had seven points, seven assists, and six rebounds as he had another all-around performance. The Spartans had 13 of the 14 players who played score while 12 players recorded at least one rebound in York’s most complete team performance of the year.
Johnny Jackson led the Bison on their 2008 senior night with 18 points and four rebounds. Jackson was 8-for-9 from the floor including one three and one free throw. Jon Mowl and Onye Davis each added 14 points. Mowl was 5-for-16 from the floor including 4-for-12 from three. He handed out five assists, had three steals, and pulled in three rebounds. Davis was 4-for-14 from the floor and 6-for-6 from the free throw line. He grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Bison on the glass.
The Spartans finished the game shooting 56.6% from the floor including 43.5% from three. The Spartans only went to the line 11 times but converted eight of their attempts. Gallaudet shot 41% from the floor for the game while they went just 7-for-27 from three during the contest. The Bison made 12 of their 17 attempts at the free throw line.
The green and white held a commanding 47-29 edge in rebounding including 12-3 in offensive rebounds. The Spartans finished the game with a 60-20 bulge in points in the paint and 13-4 in second chance points. The Spartans turned 18 Bison turnovers into 24 points while the 10 Spartan miscues resulted in just eight points for the hosts.
The Spartans conclude their regular season on Saturday afternoon as they travel to Marymount University to face the Saints. Tip time from Arlington, VA is set for 4:00 pm. York will then open the CAC tournament on Tuesday, February 26 as they will host either Salisbury or Gallaudet at 8:00 pm in the second game of a quarterfinal doubleheader at the Grumbacher Center. Their opponent will be determined by Saturday’s regular season finales around the CAC.
Levi Winters photo is courtesy of Eric Linsley