January 8, 2011

Turnovers Haunt Spartans in Loss to UMW

YORK, PA – The York College men's basketball team committed a season-high 26 turnovers as the Spartans dropped their second straight, falling to the University of Mary Washington 83-74 in a Capital Athletic Conference contest on Saturday in York.

The Eagles have now won nine straight while the Spartans have lost two in a row for the second time this season. Mary Washington improves to 11-2 overall and 5-0 in the CAC while the Spartans fall to 9-5 overall and 3-2 in the CAC.

Walt Smith led all scorers as the guard tallied 21 points. The Eagles placed five players in double figures while Kevin Whaley and Julian Watson each had 18 points to pace the Spartans.

The opening ten minutes of the game featured five ties and six lead changes before the Spartans pushed out to a seven-point lead on a Matt Moley layup with 5:23 remaining in the stanza.

That's when the Eagles seized momentum began taking flight on offense. Mary Washington embarked on a 13-0 run that turned their seven-point deficit into a 32-26 lead with 2:13 remaining on the clock. Smith and E.J. Willis keyed the run as they each had four points on the spurt. The Spartans cut the lead to 35-32 on a Watson triple with 17 seconds left but the Eagles got an offensive rebound and the Spartans committed a foul allowing Ryan Farrar to convert a pair of free throws with 0.1 seconds left, giving the guests 37-32 lead at the break.

The Eagles came out of the intermission and pushed their lead to eight courtesy of a Bradley Riester three but the Spartans put together a 9-0 run to take a 43-42 lead with just under 17 minutes left in the half. The next eight minutes was back-and-forth as there were nine lead changes and two ties. The Eagles took the lead for good when Smith hit a jumper with 8:43 left, giving the guests a 60-59 lead. Smith's jumper was part of a 10-2 run that turned a one-point deficit into a seven-point lead.

York trimmed the Eagle advantage to three on a pair of Dylan Hoffman free throws with 4:47 left but the Eagles answered with eight straight points to take a 76-65 lead with 1:26 left. Sophomore Mo Oursler canned a three to stop the bleeding but the Eagles made eight of ten free throws in the final 1:26 to secure the win.

Smith was 9-for-11 from the floor en route to his 21 points. He also went 3-for-4 from the free throw line while he added four steals, four assists and three rebounds to the Eagle attack. Farrar added 12 points and four steals to the Mary Washington effort while Willis and Tad Dickman contributed 11 points each. Dickman also pulled in a game-high eight rebounds while Willis had five and a pair of blocked shots. Riester was the fifth Eagle in double figures with 10 points.

Whaley was 5-for-14 from the floor, 1-for-5 from three and 7-for-8 from the charity stripe for his 18 points. He also had three steals, three assists, two blocked shots and two rebounds. Watson was 8-for-13 from the floor including 1-for-2 from three and 1-for-2 from the free throw line. Watson had career-high tying six rebounds while he also had three assists. Oursler contributed nine points on a trio of three-point field goals in his nine minutes of action.

The Eagles finished the game shooting 48.3% from the floor including 51.9% in the second half. Mary Washington, the conference leader in three pointers made, converted 7-of-24 from distance (29.2%) while they went 20-for-29 (69%) from the free throw line. York shot 42.4% from the floor, 33.3% (7-for-21) from three and 70.8% (17-for-24) from the free throw line.

Mary Washington out-rebounded the Spartans 39-35 for the game.

The Spartans committed a season-high 26 turnovers, eight worse than their previous high mark for the season.  The Eagles capitalized on the Spartan miscues as they converted the mistakes into 31 points. York forced 25 Mary Washington turnovers but only made the Eagles pay to the tune of 18 points.

The Green and White must now collect themselves and prepare to close out their season-high seven-game home stand on Wednesday when they host Hood College in a Capital Athletic Conference clash. Tip time at Wolf Gym is set for 8:00 pm.

AUDIO HIGHLIGHTS COURTESY OF DARRELL HENRY - THE VOICE OF THE SPARTANS

Julian Watson photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (www.sharpedgefoto.com)

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