FREDERICKSBURG, VA – The York College men's basketball team picked up an important 76-70 Capital Athletic Conference road victory at Mary Washington Saturday afternoon in Fredericksburg, VA. The Spartans improve to 15-8 overall and 9-5 in the CAC while the Eagles fall to 13-9 overall and 7-7 in the CAC.
The Spartans placed five players in double figures led by Paul Kouvaris as the junior forward tallied 14 points. E.J. Willis led the Eagles with a game-high 15 points in the loss.
The game was back-and-forth in the opening nine minutes before the Spartans seized control of the contest. The game was tied at 14 when the Spartans fashioned a 10-2 run to take a 24-16 lead with 9:23 remaining in the opening half. The Eagles trimmed the York lead to three with a quick 5-0 spurt but sophomore Mo Oursler drilled a three to push the lead back to six. Mary Washington cut the lead two a bucket twice over the final 4:00 of the half but York took a 38-34 lead to the break.
Oursler opened the second half with a three, kick starting a 12-2 run as the Spartan lead grew to 14 at 50-36. The York lead grew to a game-high 19 on a Julian Watson triple with 7:14 left in the game. The Eagles then put together a 14-2 run to cut the York lead to just seven at 66-59 with 4:05 remaining in the contest. York scored four straight to push the lead back to 11 but the Eagles scored nine straight points to draw to within two at 70-68 with 1:29 left.
York pushed their advantage back to four on a pair of Watson free throws but Mike Harvey converted a lay up to make it a two-point game with 30 seconds left. The Spartan defense held strong over the final 29 seconds as they kept the Eagles off the board while they converted four of six from the free throw line to provide the final six points margin of victory.
Kouvaris finished the game shooting 5-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-8 from the line en route to his 14 points. He added seven rebounds and a blocked shot in his 28 minutes of work. Watson returned to the line up after missing two games due to injury and added 13 points in 21 minutes of work. Watson was 4-for-8 from the floor including 1-for-2 from the free throw line and 4-for-6 from the charity stripe. Senior Kevin Whaley contributed 12 points, five rebounds, four assists, a blocked shot and a steal to the Spartan effort. Oursler and senior Matt Moley each tallied 10 points and four rebounds. The 10 points for Moley was a season high.
Willis finished the game shooting 5-for-13 including 3-for-9 from three and 2-for-2 from the line. He also had six rebounds for the Eagles. Junior Tad Dickman was the other Eagle in double figures with 12 points while he pulled in a game-high eight rebounds. Walt Smith added eight points, seven assists, and five rebounds.
The Spartans finished the game shooting 45.3% from the floor, 35% from three and 70% (21-for-30) from the free throw line. The Eagles shot 43.1% from the field and 29.6% (8-for-27) from three. The Eagles struggled at the free throw line as they made just 12-of-25 (48%) from the stripe.
York held a 39-36 advantage on the glass while both teams had 28 points in the paint. The Eagles converted York's 20 turnovers into 27 points while the Spartans turned Mary Washington's 20 miscues into 19 points.
The Spartans currently sit all alone in third place, 1.5 games ahead of Hood College and two full games up on Mary Washington. York concludes their regular season road schedule on Wednesday night when they travel to first-place Wesley College for a key conference game. The Wolverines are tied atop the CAC with St. Mary's, as they both are 12-2. Tip time in Dover, Delaware is set for 8:00 pm. York then closes out the regular season next Saturday at home against Salisbury.