FREDERICKSBURG, VA-The York College men’s basketball team seized control of first place in the Capital Athletic Conference as they picked up a huge 84-78 CAC road win at the University of Mary Washington on Saturday afternoon in Fredericksburg, VA. The Spartans, winners of five straight, improve to 14-6 overall and 9-2 in the CAC while the Eagles fall to 12-6 overall and 8-3 in the CAC.
The game started with the pace of a track meet as the teams combined to score 22 points in the opening 4:36 of the game. The pace settled a bit as the half progressed, but the two teams continued to go back-and-forth. The half featured six ties and four lead changes as the game had a feel of a championship contest. The Spartans’ largest lead was six and came less than three minutes into the game while the Eagles’ biggest margin was four on three different occasions. The Spartans looked like they would take a two point lead to the half but Ben Stokes beat the buzzer with a jumper as the squads went to the break tied at 35.
The squads continued the back-and-forth play in the opening five minutes of the half. With York leading 50-48, the green and white dialed long distance as they hit four threes in a three and a half minute stretch to take a 62-48 lead with 10:17 left. Senior Levi Winters (Manchester, Pa./Northeastern) opened the run with a triple and he was followed by a three consecutive threes from sophomore Nick Brady (Hanover, Pa./Delone Catholic) as the Spartans opened their biggest lead of the game. The Spartan lead would reach 14 again with 6:39 remaining but the Eagles would not roll over and cede the game to the green and white. The Eagles began a lengthy 17-6 run that cut the Spartan lead to just three with 1:48 left. The Spartans did not panic as Pat Kelley (Davidsonville, Md./South River) nailed a lay up and Winters got a fast break lay up off a steal to push the York lead to 80-73 with 1:06 left. Kevin Storus cut the lead to five with a lay up of his own but Kelley sank a pair of free throws with 39 seconds left to answer Storus’ bucket, keeping the York lead at seven, 82-75. Sophomore Jeremy Keefer (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra), who was outstanding in the game, converted a pair of free throws with seven seconds left to ice the win. Stokes drilled a cosmetic three to provide for the Spartans’ final six point margin of victory.
Winters led the Spartans with a career-high 26 points as the senior was 9-for-12 from the field including 4-for-7 from three and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Winters also pulled in seven rebounds for the green and white. Keefer recorded a pair of career highs with 20 points and 13 rebounds. The double-double was his third of the year. Brady added 13 points including his trio of threes. Senior All-American Chad McGowan (Dallastown, Pa./Dallastown), who played the game very sick with the flu, finished the game with 11 points, four rebounds, and three assists in just 29 minutes of action. Senior Nate Lankford (York, Pa./West York) contributed eight points, five assists, four rebounds, and a pair of steals for YCP.
Matt Hale, a player that has had great success against the Spartans in the last four games between the two teams, led the Eagles with 19 points, four rebounds, and four assists. Hale was 6-for-11 from the floor including 4-of-7 from three. He was also 3-for-4 from the free throw line. Sophomore Brandon Altmann added 13 points, eight rebounds, and three blocked shots. Justin Baker and Stokes chipped in with 12 points each while Storus had 10 points.
The Spartans finished the game holding a 39-31 edge on the glass including a 24-14 advantage in the second half. The Spartans tallied 12 points on nine Mary Washington turnovers while the Eagles recorded nine points on 12 Spartan miscues.
York finished the game shooting 52.6% from the floor including 57.5% in the second half. The Spartans went 9-for-21 from three for the game including 6-for-12 in the second stanza. York shot 60% from free throw line for the game. Mary Washington shot 45.6% from the field in the contest however, the Eagles went a chilly 8-for-31 from three. Mary Washington went 8-for-13 from the free throw line for the game.
The Spartans return to action on Wednesday night when they host
Salisbury in another CAC contest. Game time at the
Grumbacher Center is set for 8:00 pm.
Levi Winters photo courtesy of Eric Linsley