Spartans Fall to #23 Widener in Championship Game

Spartans Fall to #23 Widener in Championship Game

CHESTER, PA – The York College men’s basketball dropped an 87-75 decision to #23 Widener University in the championship game of the Oki Data Americas Tip-Off Tournament in Chester, PA on Saturday afternoon. The Pride improves to 4-1 overall while the Spartans fall to 1-3.

The Spartans kept the game close in the first half as the first seven minutes as there were three ties. The last tie came at 18-18 with 13:12 remaining in the first stanza. The Spartans then embarked on a 9-2 run that gave them a 27-20 lead. The Spartans held the lead until the Pride tied the game for a fourth time, this time at 38 with 3:12 left in the half. Widener scored ten of the final 12 points of the half to turn the tight game into a 48-40 lead at the break.

The Pride continued their steady play over the first ten minutes of the second half as they steadily built the lead to as many as 20 twice with the last time coming at 73-53 with 12:21 left in the game. The Spartans responded by going on a 13-5 run that trimmed their deficit to 12 at 78-66 with 5:45 showing on the clock. York cut the Widener lead to 11 twice in the final minute but that was as close as they would get the remainder of the game.

The Pride received a career-high 29 from Matt Sosna as he was 12-for-17 from the floor, 1-for-2 from three, and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. He also pulled in eight rebounds and handed out four assists. Charles Jones chipped in with 23 points, four assists, and three steals. Nyere Miller added 11 points and eight steals while Jamarr Johnson was the fourth Widner player in double figures as he tallied 10 points.

The Spartans were led by freshman Paul Kouvaris (Baltimore, Md./Cardinal Gibbons) as he recorded career-highs with 17 points and 10 rebounds for his first collegiate double-double. Kouvaris also dished out a career-high six assists. Junior Jeremy Keefer (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra) earned a spot on the All-Tournament team with 15 points and seven rebounds. Fellow junior Nick Brady (Hanover, Pa./Delone Catholic) joined Keefer on the All-Tournament team as he had 13 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Freshman Julian Watson (Odenton, Md./Arundel) contributed 12 points, three rebounds, and two assists while senior Mike Riley (Webster, N.Y./McQuaid Jesuit) was the fifth Spartan in double figures with 10 points.

Turnovers proved to be York’s undoing as the Green and White committed 28 turnovers which Widener converted into 32 points. The Pride collected 19 steals in the win.

York finished the game shooting 50.8% from the floor but the Spartans struggled from distance, converting just 4-of-13 (30.8%) from distance. The Spartans were solid from the charity stripe as they went 11-for-13. The Pride shot 47.9% from the floor as they had 12 more field goal attempts from York. Widener converted 36.8% from three and 70.6% from the free throw line.

The Spartans dominated the glass, finishing with a 42-27 edge in rebounding but York forced just 10 Widener turnovers which they turned into just five points.

The Spartans return to action on Tuesday evening when they travel to Gettysburg to face the Bullets in a non-conference contest. Game time in Gettysburg is set for 8:00 pm.


Nick Brady photo courtesy of Eric Linsley.