Pawlyk's Game Winning Free Throw Lifts Spartans Over Sea Gulls

Pawlyk's Game Winning Free Throw Lifts Spartans Over Sea Gulls

SALISBURY, MD – Junior forward Andrew Pawlyk hit a game-winning free throw with 1.9 seconds left to lift the visiting York College men's basketball team to a 62-61 Capital Athletic Conference victory over Salisbury University on Saturday afternoon. The Sea Gulls attempt to win the game bounded off the glass as the horn went off, enabling York to escape with the win.

The Spartans improve to 11-5 overall and 5-2 in the conference while Salisbury falls to 7-9 overall and 2-5 in the league.

Junior Paul Kouvaris led the Spartans with 21 points and eight rebounds as three Spartans reached double figures in the win.

The first half saw momentum see-saw back and forth. There were five lead changes and four ties in the opening 20 minutes of action. The Sea Gulls held a 17-11 lead midway through the half for their largest first half lead while the Spartans' largest advantage came with 45 seconds left in the half as they led 26-21. The Spartans settled for a 26-23 lead at the break.

Salisbury came storming out of the half, smacking the Spartans with an 11-2 run which turned the Spartan halftime lead into a 34-28 Salisbury advantage. The Spartans were undeterred as they fashioned a 14-2 spurt. That run was kick started by a Kevin Whaley triple with 17:11 left in regulation.

The Sea Gulls responded with a quick 7-0 run of their own, recapturing the lead at 43-42 with 9:14 remaining in regulation. The Spartans scored 13 of the next 20 points to take a 55-50 lead on a Kouvaris three-point play with 4:32 left.

The Spartans maintained the lead until Mike Maczko hit a lay up with just 20 seconds remaining in the game, tying the game at 61. That set the stage for Pawlyk to score his only point of the day with his game-winning free throw. Pawlyk missed the second but Salisbury couldn't convert their attempt at the horn.

Kouvaris led the Spartans with another stellar game. The junior was 8-for-13 from the floor and 5-for-6 from the free throw line. He also had a steal in his 32 minutes of work. Whaley added 15 points, seven assists, two blocks, five rebounds and a steal for the game. Guard Julian Watson was the third Spartan in double figures with 12 points while he also had three assists, two rebounds, and a steal.

David Pearman led the Sea Gulls with 17 points. Pearman was 6-for-14 from the floor, 4-for-8 from three and 1-for-1 from the free throw line. Eric Johnson notched a double-double in the loss as he had 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

The Spartans finished the game shooting 36.7% from the floor, their second lowest mark of the year. They converted just 4-of-22 from three (18.2%) which tied their season low.. The Spartans did convert 14-of-18 (77.9%) from the free throw line.

Salisbury shot 40% from the field, 31.6% (6-for-19) from distance and 90% (9-for-10) from the charity stripe. The Sea Gulls out-rebounded the Green and White 38-34 but both teams had 10 second chance points and 22 points in the paint. The Spartans forced 20 Salisbury turnovers, which they turned into 21 points in the win.

The Spartans will look to extend their win streak to three on Wednesday evening when they travel to Stevenson to face the Mustangs in a league contest. Tip time in Owings Mills, MD is set for 8:00 pm.


Paul Kouvaris photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (