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Men's Hoops Rally Falls Short in Overtime

YORK, PA – The York College men’s basketball team had something happen to them that hasn’t happened all year as they lost their first home game of the year, falling to Mary Washington 74-71 in overtime at Wolf Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon. The loss drops York to 13-1 at home while they are now 17-5 overall and 9-4 in the CAC. The Eagles, who are playing for a place in the Capital Athletic Conference tournament, improve to 8-12 overall and 5-7 in the conference.

The Eagles got off to a blistering start from distance. Mary Washington, who came into the game shooting just 31.2% from three, drained four triples in the opening four minutes of the game to take a 12-4 lead.  The Eagles increased the lead to 19-9 on a pair of Brandon Altmann free throws less than nine minutes into the game. The Spartans cut the lead to five but Tad Dickman went on a personal eight point run with a pair of threes and a lay up as the Eagle lead grew to 13 at 29-16.

The Spartan offense then woke up four minutes later, fashioning a 15-5 run, cutting their halftime deficit to three at 34-31. Mary Washington went 8-for-17 from three en route to the first half lead. Conversely, the Spartans shot just 37.5% from the floor in the stanza.

The Green and White then started the second half much like they did the first and the Eagles made them pay, extending their lead back into double figures at 41-31 just 2:42 into the half. York cut the lead down to five but a Dickman three and an Eric Rolander lay up increased the lead back to 13 with 10:50 left. The Eagle lead reached a game-high of 14 before the Spartans starting working their way back into the game. The Spartans cut the lead to seven on a Nick Brady (Hanover, Pa./Delone CathoIic) lay up with 5:05 remaining, however a Jon Blaine three point play increased the Eagle lead back to ten at 64-54 with 4:16 left.

That seemed to take the wind out of the Spartan sails as they were forced to start fouling the Eagles. The Spartans started their comeback with a Jeremy Keefer (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra) three-point play at the 3:07 mark. That kick-started a 12-2 Spartan run that would eventually tie the game. Junior Kevin Whaley (Dover, Pa./Dover) hit a clutch triple and a lay up during the run while Brady canned all four of his free throws as York drew even at 66 on Brady’s final two tosses with eight seconds left. Mary Washington’s Rocky Ullah took the ball and drove to the basket where he was fouled by Keefer as the senior attempted to block his shot with 3.5 seconds left. Ullah missed both free throws and York had one last chance to win in regulation but Whaley couldn’t get off a game-winning attempt before the horn.

The Eagles got on the board first in the extra session but York took a 71-70 lead on a Keefer bucket with 1:57 left. Ullah redeemed himself with 19 seconds left as he hit a tough shot in the lane to give the Eagles a lead they wouldn’t surrender the rest of the way. Brady launched a three with six seconds left but couldn’t find the mark as Altmann got the scramble rebound before being fouled. The senior converted both free throws and the Spartans got the ball back with three seconds left. Keefer’s three pointer at the horn fell short as the Eagles escaped with the key conference win.

Altmann led the Eagles as he recorded a double-double with 16 points and 16 rebounds. He was 6-for-13 from the floor and 4-for-5 from the free throw line. Dickman scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds in just 18 minutes of action before he fouled out in regulation. Blaine had a career day with 15 points and six rebounds in his 45 minutes of play. Ullah contributed 13 points, seven assists, and six boards for the Eagles.

Whaley recorded a career-high in the loss as he poured in a game-high 27 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the floor. Whaley nailed a career-high six three pointers in nine attempts while he was also 3-for-4 from the stripe. Brady was the other Spartan in double figures as he had 13 points and six rebounds. Keefer chipped in with nine points, a team-high10 rebounds, seven assists, and four steals in his most complete effort of the year.

The Eagles finished the game shooting 45.3% from the floor including 35.5% from three for the game. The Eagles, after going 8-for-17 from distance in the first, half went 3-for-14 from downtown in the second half and overtime. Mary Washington was just 5-for-9 from the free throw line for the game.

The Spartans shot 39.7% from the field for the contest including 34.8% from three. York struggled to shoot the ball from distance in the final 25 minutes as they went just 3-for-13 in the second half and overtime. York was outstanding from the free throw line as they went 13-for-15 (86.7%) for the game.

The Eagles held a significant 44-33 edge on the glass as they finished the game with a 23-14 margin in second chance points. The Spartans did force 18 Mary Washington turnovers, which York turned into 17 points.

The loss was a bitter ending to the Spartans’ outstanding regular season home campaign. Prior to the contest, Brady, Keefer and fellow senior Wid Lyman (Amherst, Mass./Homeschooled) were honored for their contributions to the Spartan program.

The Spartans now must head to the road for their final three games of the year. York travels to Stevenson on Wednesday night for a 7:00 pm contest. That trip is followed by games at St. Mary’s next Saturday and a make up game at Gallaudet on Sunday afternoon in Washington, D.C.

Nick Brady photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (www.sharpedgephoto.smugmug.com)

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