ST. MARY'S CITY, MD – The York College men's basketball team fell at #14 St. Mary's College 81-77 in overtime in a Capital Athletic Conference showdown on Wednesday evening in St. Mary's City, MD. The Spartans have their two-game win streak snapped as they fall to 5-3 overall and 2-1 in the CAC. The Seahawks, coming off a loss at Division I Citadel on Monday night, improve to 6-2 overall and 2-0 in the conference. St. Mary's has now won 24 straight regular season games at home.
Senior Kevin Whaley, the reigning CAC Player of the Week, led four Spartans in double figures with 16 points. Christian MacAuley led the Seahawks with 18 points and 15 rebounds while Alex Franz added 20 points.
The early stages of the game were closely contested. The teams were tied at seven before the Spartans went on a 10-3 run to take a 17-10 lead on a Dylan Hoffman three with 10:32 left in the opening half. The Seahawks took the lead on a Deon Queen layup, then MacAuley gave the Seahawks a 27-24 lead on another layup. However, the Spartans concluded the half on an 11-4 run as the visitors took a 35-31 lead to the break.
St. Mary's scored nine of the first 14 points of the half as the game was tied at 40 less than three minutes into the second half. The remainder of the half featured 11 lead changes and two ties. The Spartans owned a 68-61 lead with 2:59 left in regulation as it looked like they were primed to give St. Mary's a rare home loss. The Seahawks had other ideas as they went on a 9-0 capped by a Franz three-pointer with 1:06 remaining. Whaley was fouled and went to the line with 44 seconds left. He split the pair, drawing York to within one at 70-69. The Spartans' Paul Kouvaris got the offensive rebound on Whaley's miss but missed the follow up as the York deficit remained one.
York fouled and St. Mary's Devin Spencer missed the front end of the bonus. Whaley rebounded and York was again unable to convert as MacAuley pulled in the rebound and was fouled. Fortunately for York, the freshman forward missed his free throw attempt and Jeremy Skoloda got the rebound. Whaley was fouled with three seconds left and the Spartan senior forced overtime with his first free throw. He was unable to convert the second chance as the squads headed to an extra session.
Kouvaris put York on top to start the overtime but St. Mary's got five points from Franz on a pair of free throws and a three. Whaley was fouled attempting a three and converted all three charity tosses, tying the game at 75 with 1:48 left. The Seahawks then cashed in from the free throw line while the Spartans went cold from the field. St. Mary's converted six straight free throws while York could not score until Julian Watson hit a shot at the buzzer to provide for the final four-point margin.
MacAuley finished the game shooting 8-for-13 from the floor while he was also 2-for-4 from the line. He also blocked five shots and handed out two assists in his 28 minutes of work. Franz was 5-for-15 from the floor including 2-for-8 from three. He was clutch from the free throw line, converting 8-of-9 in the contest. He also had seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and a blocked shot in the win. James Davenport added 13 points while Sam Burum was the fourth Seahawk in double figures with 11 points.
Whaley was 3-for-13 from the floor including 2-for-6 from three while he made 8-of-11 at the line. Whaley also had five rebounds and two assists for the Green and White. Kouvaris contributed 14 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Kouvaris was 6-for-10 from the field and 2-for-4 from the line. Watson and Mo Oursler each added 12 points to the Spartan attack. Watson also had three rebounds and four assists while Oursler's 12 points were a new career-high. Oursler was 4-for-6 from three in his 15 minutes of action.
York finished the game shooting 39.4% from the floor and 40% (8-for-20) from three. The Spartans converted 13-of-20 (65%) from the free throw line. St. Mary's shot 41.8% from the field, 30.4% (7-for-23) from three and 75% (18-for-24) from the stripe including 8-of-8 in overtime.
The Seahawks pounded York on the glass, holding a 51-41 edge in total rebounds. That led the Seahawks to having a 17-8 advantage in second-chance points. The Spartans forced 17 turnovers while they only committed 11 in the game.
York returns home to Wolf Gymnasium on Saturday to host Frostburg State in a Capital Athletic Conference contest. It will be the first time they face the Bobcats as conference rivals. Tip time in York is set for 2:00 pm and the contest kicks off a seven-game home stand for the Spartans.
Paul Kouvaris photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (www.sharpedgefoto.com)