Spartan Victory Secures First Round Bye

Spartan Victory Secures First Round Bye

WASHINGTON, DC – The York College men’s basketball team did what they had to do on Sunday afternoon as they posted a 83-70 Capital Athletic Conference victory at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. The win secures the second seed for the Spartans as they will now host the winner of the Wesley College – Salisbury University first round game in Thursday's semifinals.

The Spartans improve to 19-6 overall and 11-5 in the CAC while the Bison conclude their final Capital Athletic Conference campaign 0-16 in the league and 5-19 overall.

The Spartans started the game quick as they jumped out to 12-2 lead just under five minutes into the game. The Bison answered the Spartan start with a 8-0 burst, drawing themselves to within two at 12-10.  The York advantage wavered between two and six points before the Green and White fashioned a 9-0 run that pushed their lead to 12 at 36-24 with 1:44 remaining in the half. The Spartans settled for an 11-point halftime advantage.

The Spartans kept their foot on the gas petal at the start of the second half as they increased the lead to 20 just over five minutes into the half. The Green and White maintained the lead between 16 and 25 points over the next ten minutes of the game.

The last drama in the contest came as Bison senior Johnny Jackson attempted to reach the 1,000 career point milestone in his final collegiate contest. Jackson was 34 points short at the start of the game and it looked like he would have trouble getting there as he had just 12 points at the break. The senior then used the last six minutes of the game to score 14 of his 23 second half points to reach the milestone. Jackson reached the mark with 40 seconds left in the contest.

Sophomore Paul Kouvaris (Baltimore, Md./Cardinal Gibbons) led York with 16 points and seven rebounds. Kouvaris was 5-for-7 from the floor and 6-for-10 from the charity stripe. Kouvaris also had a team-high five assists with zero turnovers in 23 minutes of play. Freshman Jeremy Skoloda (Leola, Pa./Conestoga Valley) tied his career-high, recording 15 points including a trio of threes in the win. Senior Jeremy Keefer (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra) chipped in with 12 points, four rebounds, four assists and a steal in the final regular season contest of his collegiate career. Fellow senior Nick Brady (Hanover, Pa./Delone Catholic) contributed 11 points, eight points, three assists, three steals and a blocked shot in his 32 minutes of play.

Jackson led the Bison with 35 points on 15-of-25 shooting while he also went 5-for-7 at the free throw line. He also pulled in five rebounds for the Bison. Danny Kelly was the other Bison in double figures with 11 points.

York finished the contest shooting 44.8% from the floor, 33.3% (7-for-21) from three, and a sharp 80% (24-for-30) from the stripe. Gallaudet shot 47.4% from the floor thanks to Jackson 60% mark from the field. The Bison converted 5-of-12 from three and 11-of-16 from the free throw line.

The Bison held a 34-33 rebounding edge while Gallaudet also held a 13-8 edge in second chance points. The Bison also finished the contest with a 38-28 margin in points in the paint. York held a huge edge in turnovers as the Bison had 20 miscues, which York turned into 29 points.

The Spartans will have three days to prepare for the CAC semifinals after earning the tournament bye. The Spartans will host either Wesley College or Salisbury University in the semifinal contest. York split the season series with both teams with the home team winning each of the four games. Tip time at Charles Wolf Gymnasium is set for 7:00 pm on Thursday evening.

Jeremy Skoloda photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh