November 16, 2008

Turnovers Too Much for Young Spartans to Overcome

  YORK, PA-The York College men’s basketball team fell to Misericordia University 74-66 in the consolation game of the 2008 White Rose City Classic in York, PA on Sunday. The Spartans start the season 0-2 for the first time since 2003 while Misericordia improves to 1-1 with the win. In the championship game, Susquehanna’s Matt McDevitt hit a free throw with 12.4 seconds left in regulation to lift the Crusaders to a 59-57 win over Neumann to earn the team title.
    In the consolation tilt, the Spartans opened the game with the contest’s first bucket but the Cougars then hit York with a 10-0 spurt to take early command of the game. The green and white worked themselves back into the game, drawing to within one at 14-13 on a lay up from junior captain Jeremy Keefer (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra). The Cougars responded by quickly pushing the lead back to eight thanks to seven straight points. York worked the lead back down to three at 27-24 with 4:27 left in the half. Misericordia again put together a run, this one being an 8-0 spurt, to take a 35-24 lead. York scored four of the final six points of the half as they went to the break down 37-28.
    The Spartans had 13 first half turnovers that led to 10 Cougar points. Conversely, Misericordia had just four miscues that led to three Spartan points. The Spartans were woeful from three as they went just 1-for-11 from distance in the opening 20 minutes of the game.
    The Spartans began climbing back into the game right out of the locker room. The green and white outscored Misericordia 20-10 over the opening 6:53 of the half as they captured their first lead since they led 2-0. The game would be back-and-forth over the next five minutes as York’s final lead, 56-55, came on a Nick Brady (Hanover, Pa./Delone Catholic) free throw with 8:23 left in the game. Just over a minute later, the Cougars’ Dom Del Prete converted a conventional three point play to put the guests up two. The Spartans tied the game at 58 before Ethan Eichhorst had a three-point play and Vinny Baumunk hit a lay up on the fast break to give the Cougars a five point edge with 5:32 left. York cut the lead to three before Misericordia scored seven of the final nine points of the game to earn the win.
    Baumunk paced the Cougars with a game-high 26 points as he was 12-for-16 from the floor and 2-for-2 from the free throw line. Eichhorst added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Cougars. He was 4-for-8 from the floor including one three and a 4-for-7 performance from the free throw line. Del Prete was the third Cougar in double figures with 12 points while he also had four assists, four rebounds, and four steals. Robbie Johnson contributed nine points, six assists, and four steals in 22 minutes for Misericordia.
    The Spartans were paced by Keefer as he recorded 17 points with two rebounds, a blocked shot and an assist. Keefer was 7-for-11 from the floor and 3-for-5 from free throw line. Freshman Paul Kouvaris (Baltimore, Md./Cardinal Gibbons) drew his first collegiate start and made the most of it with 14 points and nine rebounds in 35 minutes of action. Kouvaris was 4-for-8 from the floor and 6-for-7 from the free throw line. Brady was the third Spartan in double figures with 14 points while he also pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds. Freshman Julian Watson (Odenton, Md./Arunel) chipped in with eight points, four assists, and three rebounds.
    York finished the game shooting 48% from the field but just 30% from three. Misericordia converted 47.4% of their attempts from the floor while they went 18-for-25 (72%) from the free throw line. The Spartans had 22 turnovers in the game which the Cougars converted into 16 points. The Cougars dominated scoring in the paint, outscoring York 48-28 while they held a slight 8-6 margin in second chance points. York outrebounded the Cougars 35-29 for the game.
    The championship game was an exciting affair as Susquehanna erased an 11 point deficit with 9:27 left in regulation to down Neumann late. The Crusaders were very balanced as Joel Patch led Susquehanna with 12 points and eight rebounds. Hunter McKain recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds while McDevitt was the third Crusader to reach double figures with 11 points in addition to grabbing seven rebounds.
    Eli Hitchens paced Neumann with 16 points and seven rebounds. Michael Hitchens added 10 points to the Knight cause.
    The Spartans return to action on Friday night as they face Delaware Valley in the opening round of the Oki Data Americas Tip-Off hosted by Widener University. Tip time from Chester, PA is scheduled for 8:00 pm.

GAME BOX

SUSQUEHANNA-NEUMANN BOX

Paul Kouvaris photo courtesy of Eric Linsley

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