February 22, 2011

Salisbury Downs Spartans in the CAC First Round

YORK, PA – The York College men's basketball team saw their successful 2010-11 season come to a close with a 77-64 loss to Salisbury University in the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament First Round Tuesday night in York. The Spartans, who swept the regular season series from the Gulls, finish the season 17-9. Salisbury advances to the CAC semifinals, as they will travel to Wesley College to face the second-seeded Wolverines on Thursday night at seven.

The Spartans got a double-double from junior Paul Kouvaris as he notched 19 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Senior David Pearman led the Gulls with 22 points while senior Chris McGrew chipped in with 20.

The Green and White took its lone lead on the first basket of the game as Kouvaris hit a lay up just under two minutes into the contest. The Gulls grew their lead to six at 12-6 on a McGrew lay up less than five minutes into the game. The Spartans trimmed the lead to three, 17-14, on a Kevin Whaley triple with 9:55 left in the half. The Gulls answered with a 7-0 spurt, pushing their lead to ten at the 8:13 mark. Pearman hit two threes in back-to-back possessions late in the half as the Salisbury lead grew to 12. The Spartans cut their deficit to six on a Julian Watson three point play with 35 seconds left in the half but Jason Nwosu collected an offensive rebound and got a put back with just two seconds left in the stanza as Salisbury took a 37-29 lead to the break.

Salisbury pushed the lead to 14 early in the second half but the Spartans continued to battle, attempting to get themselves back into the contest. The lead reached 14 two more times in the next seven minutes, the second time coming when Devin Posey hit a long three from the top of the key, beating the shot clock and giving Salisbury the 56-42 lead.

York mounted a charge with a 10-2 run, cutting the Salisbury lead to 58-52 with 7:15 remaining. The Sea Gulls scored in their next two possessions, pushing the lead back to ten at 62-52. The Spartans were undeterred as they scored seven of the next nine points of the game to draw to within five at 64-59. After a pair of McGrew free throws pushed the lead back to seven, Whaley tallied a pair of free throws of his own as the deficit stood at five with 1:41 left in the game.

Salisbury forward Mike Maczko hit a pair of free throws and Whaley missed a jumper from the left elbow with 1:18 left. The Spartans were forced to foul and the Gulls made them pay over the final 1:17 as they went 9-for-10 from the stripe to ice the win and punch their ticket to the semifinals.

Pearman finished the game 6-for-15 from the floor but was a sharp 4-for-8 from three while he was a perfect 6-for-6 from the line en route to his game-high 22 points. Pearman also had eight rebounds and two assists in his 37 minutes of action. McGrew was nearly perfect on the night as he was 7-for-7 from the floor and 6-for-7 from the free throw line. He grabbed five rebounds, had three assists and one blocked shot. Maczko was the third Gull in double figures with 13 points while he also had six rebounds in his 23 minutes of play. Posey contributed nine points and five assists to the Salisbury effort.

Kouvaris registered his fourth double-double of the year with his 19 points and 11 boards. He was 6-for-6 from the floor and 7-for-9 from the line. He also had four assists, two blocked shots and two steals in 36 minutes of action. Whaley closed out a stellar two years in the Green and White with 16 points, five rebounds, three steals and a pair of blocked shots. Sophomore Mo Oursler was the third Spartan in double figures with 13 points while he also had four rebounds and two assists.

Salisbury finished the game shooting 47.3% from the floor while they were also 7-for-17 (41.2%) from three. The Sea Gulls were very accurate from the charity stripe as they canned 18-of-22 (81.8%) from the line.

York shot 35.7% from the field including 24% (6-for-25) from three. The Spartans shot 66.7% (18-for-27) from the free throw line including just 7-for-13 (53.8%) in the second half.

Salisbury held a 37-36 edge on the glass while both teams had 15 turnovers, four blocked shots and seven steals in the contest.

With the loss, Whaley, guard Dylan Hoffman, and guard Matt Moley see their Spartan careers come to a close. The Spartans will return a number of key players for 2011-12.

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

Paul Kouvaris photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (www.sharpedgefoto.com)