DOVER, DEL – The York College men's basketball team handed the Wesley College Wolverines their first home loss of the season as the Spartans recorded a 74-73 Capital Athletic Conference win in a key league game Wednesday night in Dover, Delaware. The Spartans improve to 16-8 overall and 10-5 as they have clinched the third seed in the upcoming CAC Tournament. The Wolverines fall to 12-3 as they have clinched the second seed in the tournament while they are 16-8 overall.
Spartan junior Paul Kouvaris led the Green and White with 18 points, as he was one of three Spartans to reach double figures in the win. Darrell Johnson led the Wolverines with 19 points, 15 of those in the second half.
The Spartans were blistering in the first half as they jumped out to a 21-10 lead through the first nine minutes of the game. The lead grew to 17 on a Mo Oursler three with 7:10 left in the opening stanza. The Wolverines trimmed the lead to 12 on a Rudy Thomas lay up but York scored nine of the final 14 points of the half to take a 42-26 lead to the break.
The Wolverines came out of the locker room a different team as they cut the York lead to single digits on a Sean McAndrew free throw with 13:47 left. York pushed the lead back to 10 on a pair of Kouvaris free throws but the Wolverines scored the next six points on a pair of Thomas threes. Wesley eventually tied the game at 62, setting the stage for a back-and-forth final six minutes of regulation.
The Wolverines took a lead on a Johnson lay up with 2:54 left. The Spartans answered with a huge three off the right hand of senior Kevin Whaley as the Green and White recaptured the lead at 71-70. Johnson gave the Wolverines the lead back 40 seconds later on another lay up. Whaley answered again with another big shot as he canned a second triple, giving York a 74-72 lead with 1:47 left. The Spartans fouled Johnson with 58 seconds left and he split the pair, drawing the Wolverines to within one at 74-73. The Spartans had a shot clock violation in their next possession, setting the stage for the Wolverines to try to win the game. Johnson missed a jumper on the ensuing Wesley possession and York rebounded. Spartan senior Dylan Hoffman snared the rebound. He was fouled but missed the front end of the one-and-one. Wesley had one last chance to win the game but Thomas' shot came too late and came after the buzzer as the Spartans earned the hard-fought road win.
Kouvaris continues to build his case as a first-team All-CAC player as the forward was 7-for-8 from the field and was also a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line en route to his 18 points. He added four rebounds and a steal in his 28 minutes of action. Whaley added 13 points including eight in the second half. He was 4-for-7 from the floor, 2-for-4 from three and 3-for-3 from the stripe. He contributed four assists, three rebounds, and two steals. Sophomore Julian Watson also had 13 points in the win while he also had three assists and no turnovers in his 25 minutes of action. Junior Andrew Pawlyk and Oursler each contributed eight points to the Spartan effort.
Johnson finished the game 8-for-14 from the floor and 3-for-4 from the line. He added five rebounds and two steals. Paul Reynolds, the CAC's leading scorer, finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds for the double-double. Reynolds was 9-for-13 from the floor but 0-for-4 from the charity stripe. Thomas was the third Wolverine in double figures with 13 points while he also collected six rebounds.
Both teams shot the ball well from the floor. York shot 55.6% from the floor. That is the seventh time this year they have shot over 50% from the floor in a game and they are 7-0 in those contests. The Green and White converted 8-of-21 (38.1%) from distance while they shot 72.7% (16-for-22) from the free throw line. Wesley shot 50% in the loss while they were 5-for-12 (41.7%) from three and just 44.4% (8-for-18) from the line. Wesley attempted 15 more shots in the game and also had five more made field goals.
Wesley outrebounded the Spartans 35-28 while the Wolverines also held a 14-5 edge in second-chance points. Wesley had a 38-28 edge in points in the paint while the Spartan bench outscored their Wesley counterparts 27-23. The Spartans had 15 turnovers while Wesley committed 13 miscues.
The Spartans conclude their 2010-11 regular season on Saturday when they host Salisbury University in a CAC contest. Tip time is scheduled for 2:00 pm. The contest will be preceded by senior day festivities as York honors Whaley, Hoffman, and Matt Moley as they play their final regular season game at Charles Wolf Gymnasium.