Kouvaris' Career Night Not Enough to Lift Spartans Past #16 St. Mary's

Kouvaris' Career Night Not Enough to Lift Spartans Past #16 St. Mary's

YORK, PA – The 16th ranked St. Mary's College Seahawks got off to a fast start and then outlasted a game York College men's basketball team 82-75 in Capital Athletic Conference action on Wednesday night in York.

The Seahawks improve to 11-1 in the CAC and 17-4 overall while the Spartans, losers of two straight, fall to 13-8 overall and 7-5 in the league. The win for St. Mary's is the first in five trips to the new Charles Wolf Gymnasium at the Grumbacher Sport & Fitness Center and their first win in York since December 2, 2000, a stretch of nine games.

St. Mary's Sam Burum led all scorers with 30 points while junior Paul Kouvaris paced the Spartans with a career-high 28 points and 13 rebounds for the double-double.

The Spartans found themselves down early as the Seahawks tallied the first six points of the game. The St. Mary's lead grew to 11 on an Alex Franz triple with 11:01 left in the first half. The Spartans went on a 15-4 run, tying the game at 23 with 4:52 left. The run was capped by back-to-back threes from Kevin Whaley and Mo Oursler as the spirited Spartans kept the partisan crowd in the game. The game was tied again at 25 before Franz started an 11-4 spurt with a three at the 3:39 mark. That run ended the half and gave the Seahawks a 36-29 halftime lead.

After Kouvaris opened the half with a lay up, the Seahawks got a three from Burum and a lay up from Franz as the lead grew to 10. The Seahawks kept the Spartans at arm's length much of the second half, growing the lead to 15 at 66-51 with 5:45 remaining in the game. The Green and White got their deficit down to single digits on a Todd Maciejewski lay up with 1:17 left but it would not be enough. York drew to within seven on five different occasions in the final minutes but the Seahawks made enough free throws over the final two minutes to secure the win.

Burum was outstanding as the senior center was 9-for-10 from the floor, 1-for-1 from three and 11-for-13 from the free throw line en route to his 30 points. He also had three rebounds, three steals, two assists and a blocked shot. Franz was again outstanding as the senior guard had a double-double with 18 points and 11 assists while he also had six steals. Deon Queen was the third Seahawk in double figures with 10 points in his 13 minutes of work.

Kouvaris continues to play like a first-team all-conference player as he established a new career standard with his 28 points. Kouvaris was an efficient 13-for-16 from the floor and 2-for-2 from the free throw line. The 13 field goals were also a new career-high while the double-double was his third of the year. He now has eclipsed double digits in rebounds in four games while the 28 points is the fourth time he has climbed over 20 points in a game. Kouvaris is averaging 20.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game over his last four contests.

Oursler also established a new career-high as the sophomore guard added 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting including 2-of-6 from three and 1-for-1 from the stripe. He added three rebounds and one steals in his 18 minutes of action. Whaley was the third Spartan to reach double figures with 14 points.

The Spartans shot 45.5% for the game including 51.4% in the second half. York did not shoot the ball well from distance as they were 4-for-21 (19%) but they were an efficient 11-for-15 (73.3%) from the free throw line.

The Seahawks scorched the nets to the tune of 56.6% from the field for the game. They were 4-for-14 (28.6%) from three and 62.1% (18-for-29) from the line. Taking Burum's 11-for-13 out of St. Mary's free throw totals and the visitors went just 7-for-16 (43.7%) from the charity stripe.

The Spartans struggled with St. Mary's pressure defense as York committed 21 turnovers including 14 miscues in the first half. The Seahawks turned the Spartans' mistakes into 24 points. The Spartans, who have led the CAC in assist to turnover ratio all year long, have committed a combined 44 turnovers in their last two games.

York did dominate the numbers on the glass as they held a 40-27 edge in rebounds despite St. Mary's size advantage on the front line. The Spartans had a 14-7 advantage in second chance points while both teams did damage in the paint. St. Mary's had 52 paint points while York had 50.

The Green and White will have their bye on Saturday and return to action next Wednesday night when they host Stevenson University. Tip time is set for 8:00 pm.

Paul Kouvaris photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh - www.sharpedgefoto.com