YORK, PA – The York College men's basketball team returned from Christmas break with a huge second half performance as they downed Cabrini College 92-84 in a non-conference contest Wednesday night in York. The Spartans, winners of three straight, improve to 8-3 overall while the Cavaliers fall to 4-3 for the campaign.
York placed four players in double figures paced by junior Paul Kouvaris as the forward recorded a pair of season highs with 24 points and 14 rebounds. The Spartans shot a blistering 62.1% in the second half as they scored a season-high 62 points in the second stanza.
The Spartans started out behind early thanks to the efforts of Cavalier guard John Boyd as the junior scored 14 of the Cavaliers' first 16 points, giving the guests a two-point edge with 12:24 left in the half. The Cavs eventually built the lead to seven as Goran Dulac scored six straight points to give Cabrini a 22-15 lead with 9:18 left in the stanza.
The Green and White called timeout and then embarked on a 11-2 run that gave them a 26-24 lead. The run was keyed by Kouvaris and senior guard Kevin Whaley as Kouvaris had six points on the run while Whaley contributed five points on the spurt. The Cavaliers ended the half by outscoring York 9-4 over the remaining 5:47 of the half to take a 33-30 at the break.
The reason for the Spartans' halftime deficit was two fold. The hot shooting of Boyd, who tallied first-half 18 points, and the cold shooting of the Spartans as York ended the first half shooting a paltry 32.1% from the floor.
The second half proved to be much more pleasing to the home crowd. After Boyd opened the half with a triple just ten seconds into the stanza, the Spartans answered with six straight including a Whaley three, tying the game at 36. The game featured two more ties before a Jeremy Skoloda lay up gave the Spartans a 47-45 lead just over four minutes into the half. The Spartans would not surrender the lead the rest of the way.
York expanded their lead to as eight over the next ten minutes before Keefer Francis hit a lay up to cut the Spartan advantage to 67-64 with 6:24 left. York built the lead back to eight courtesy of an 8-3 run. The lead would not get below six until Boyd converted a three-point play with 29 seconds left. However, York did enough from the line in the last half minute to secure the eight-point win.
Kouvaris was outstanding as he finished the game two points short of tying his career-high and one rebound short of tying his career standard. Kouvaris was 9-for-10 from the floor while he also had two blocks, two steals, and one assist in his 30 minutes of work. Whaley added 17 points, as he was a stellar 9-for-10 from the free throw line while he was also 3-for-7 from the floor and 2-for-5 from three. Skoloda recorded 14 points and a pair of assists while senior Dylan Hoffman contributed 11 points, six assists, and a blocked shot in his 26 minutes of action.
Boyd finished the game with a career-high 31 points while he also notched the double-double with a team-high 10 rebounds. Boyd was 9-for-19 from the floor, 4-for-9 from three, and 9-for-11 from the free throw line. Cory Lemons added 15 points, seven assists, and six rebounds for the Cavaliers. Freshman Fran Rafferty was the third Cabrini player in double figures with 11 points.
The Spartans finished the game shooting 47.4% from the floor despite their chilly first half. York was 5-for-16 from three while they made 33-of-48 (68.8%) from the free throw line.
Cabrini shot 45.6% from the field, 35% (7-for-20) from three and 68.2% (15-for-22) from the free throw line.
The Cavaliers held a slight 38-37 edge on the glass while York had a 14-4 edge in fast break points.
The Spartans return to action on Sunday afternoon to open up the 2011 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in York. The Spartans host Central Penn in the opening round on Sunday afternoon at 4:00 pm. Misericordia and Widener then face off in the tournament's other semifinal at 6:00 pm.
Paul Kouvaris photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (www.sharpedgefoto.com)