YORK, PA-The York College men’s basketball team continued to roll as the Spartans won their sixth straight with an 84-74 Capital Athletic Conference victory over Salisbury University on Wednesday night at the Grumbacher Sport & Fitness Center. The Spartans improve to 15-6 overall with the win while the remain alone in first place in the CAC with a mark of 10-2. Salisbury falls to 4-16 overall and 2-9 in the league.
The Spartans fell behind early as the Sea Gulls held a 9-6 lead just four minutes into the game. The Spartans responded with an 11-3 run that handed them a 17-12 lead with 13:07 left in the half. After a Gary Ward triple cut the Spartan lead to two, the York advantage jumped back to six on a Nate Lankford (York, Pa./West York) jumper followed by a thunderous Levi Winters (Manchester, Pa./Northeastern) fast break jam.
Salisbury answered the Spartans as they fashioned a quick 8-0 spurt that gave them their final lead of the night. The final 9:24 of the half featured five ties and two lead changes. The final tie came at 35 on a Greg Palmer three with 3:50 remaining in the stanza. The Spartans then held the visitors scoreless the remainder of the half as York got a three from Nick Brady (Hanover, Pa./Delone Catholic), a lay up from Pat Kelley (Davidsonville, Md./South River), and a lay up from Lankford to take a 42-35 lead at the break.
The green and white came out of the break determined to expand on their lead. The Sea Gulls were equally determined to keep the Spartans within striking distance. Salisbury cut the York lead to five twice early but the hosts put together a 10-4 spurt to take a 54-43 lead. The Sea Gulls got back-to-back buckets from Jonas Vaitkus and Brandon Abney to trim the York lead to seven but the Spartans went on a quick 7-0 spurt to push the lead to 14. Salisbury continued to work and eventually got the Spartan lead back to single digits at 65-56 but the green and white slapped the Gulls with a 16-0 run that took just 2:30 off the clock and ballooned the Spartans lead to 25 at 81-56. The Spartans would score just three points the rest of the way as Salisbury outscored York 18-3 in the final 6:55 of the game to provide for the final 10 point bulge.
The Spartans were led by three seniors as Chad McGowan (Dallastown, Pa./Dallastown), Lankford, and Winters were outstanding for York in the game. McGowan led all scorers with 23 points while he also registered a game-high with nine rebounds. McGowan was 8-for-16 from the floor while he was also a solid 7-for-11 from the charity stripe. McGowan also passed former Spartan great Dan Johnson for fourth on the Spartans’ all-time scoring list. The senior forward now has 1,850 career points. Lankford finished with 17 points, eight assists, seven rebounds, seven steals, and one blocked shot. Lankford’s seven steals was just one away from tying the single-game school record. Winters, the reigning Spartan Athlete of the Week, continues to be a huge part of the Spartan offense as he tallied 19 points, pulled in six rebounds, handed out two assists, and notched a pair of steals. Winters finished 8-for-12 from the floor including 3-for-5 from three. Brady was the fourth Spartan in double figures as the sophomore notched 19 points, just one short of his career-high. Brady was 7-for-13 from the field including 4-of-8 from distance.
The Sea Gulls placed four players in double figures led by Palmer as he tallied 15 points. Palmer was 6-for-15 from the field as three of his field goals were threes. Brandon Abney added 14 points, four rebounds, and three assists while Ward contributed 13 points. Vaitkus chipped in with 10 points and a team-high six rebounds.
The Spartans finished the game shooting 54% from the floor including 44.4% from three. Salisbury shot 44.9% from the field while they went just 7-for-24 (29.2%) from three. The Sea Gulls held a slight 37-34 edge on the glass. That rebounding advantage allowed Salisbury to finish with a 14-8 edge in second chance points.
York held a significant 18-2 margin in fast break points while they also scored 26 points off Salisbury’s 12 turnovers.
The Spartans put their win streak on the line on Saturday as they host St. Mary’s in another critical CAC match up. Tip time from Charles Wolf Gymnasium is set for 2:00 pm.
Nate Lankford photo courtesy of Eric Linsley