#24 Stevens Point Downs Men's Basketball In Tournament Title Game

#24 Stevens Point Downs Men's Basketball In Tournament Title Game

YORK, PA – The York College men's basketball team dropped a 68-54 decision to #25 Wisconsin-Stevens Point on Saturday afternoon in the championship game of the 2011 White Rose City Classic in York. The Spartans suffer their first setback of the year as they fall to 2-1 while the Pointers remain perfect at 3-0.

The game was a tenacious defensive contest from the opening tip. The Spartans scored first on a Julian Watson jumper from the top of the key on their opening possession but the Pointers tallied 11 of the next 13 points to seize an 11-4 lead. The Green and White eventually trimmed the Pointer lead to three (16-13) on a Mitch Kemp triple but Stevens Point went on a 7-2 spurt, extending their lead to 23-15. York answered with five straight points as Kemp nailed another three and senior Paul Kouvaris hit a pair of free throws, cutting the York deficit to 23-20.

The Pointers responded with an 8-1 run, pushing their lead to a half-high of ten points with just 2:14 remaining in the first half. The Spartans seized some momentum heading into the break, scoring seven straight points as they headed to the intermission down just three at 31-28.

York came out strong after the intermission as the hosts scored seven of the first nine points of the stanza, taking a 35-33 lead just over two minutes into the second 20 minutes. That lead would be the first since the Spartans scored the first bucket of the contest. It would also prove to be their last as Stevens Point fashioned an 11-2 run to take a 44-37 lead. The Green and White spent the remainder of the game fighting to keep themselves within striking distance.

Stevens Point pushed their lead back to 10 at 54-44 with 5:14 remaining. York responded with a 7-0 run over the next 1:40, pulling to three with 3:07 left. The teams traded baskets as the Spartan deficit stood at 56-53 with 2:22 showing on the clock. The Pointers converted their next possession as Tyler Tillema hit a pair of free throws after a tough blocking call on Todd Maciejewski put Tillema at the line with 1:50 remaining. The Pointers then buckled down on defense and forced a shot clock violation and the Spartans were then forced to foul. The Pointers made the most of their chances at the line over the final 43 seconds as they hit 12-of-14 as the Spartans had to foul to extend the game after coming up empty on offense in the final minute of play. The Pointers ended the game on a 12-1 run, making the final score appear to be more lopsidded than it really was.

Tillema led the Pointers with 20 points, six rebounds, six assists and four blocked shots in 34 minutes. He was only 4-for-11 from the floor but was an outstanding 12-for-14 from the free throw line. Center Jordan Brezinski chipped in with 18 points and six rebounds. He was 8-for-12 from the floor and 2-for-3 from the charity stripe. The Pointers' leading returning scorer heading into the year, Dan Tillema, was held to six points as he fouled out after playing just 14 minutes in the contest.

Watson led York as the junior guard tallied 12 points and four assists in his 34 minutes of work. Watson was 5-for-11 from the floor and 2-for-5 from free throw line. Senior Mo Oursler was the other Spartan in double figures with 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting including a pair of threes. Maciejewski added eight points while he pulled in a team-high six caroms. Kemp finished the game with eight markers including a pair of threes.

The Pointers finished the game shooting 50% from the floor including 45.5% (5-for-11) from three. Stevens Point converted an impressive 23-of-27 (85.2%) from the charity stripe. For the year, UWSP is shooting 51.7% from the floor, 52.9% from three and 80.8% from the line.

The Spartans ended the contest shooting 42.9% from the field, 33.3% (5-for-15) from three while York struggled at the line going just 7-for-14 in the setback.

York forced 19 Pointer turnovers, which they converted into 19 points. Stevens Point caused 17 Spartan miscues, which they turned into 17 points.

York returns to action on Tuesday evening when they travel to Messiah for a pre-Thanksgiving Day holiday matchup against the Falcons. Tip time from Grantham, PA is slated for 7:00 pm.

Julian Watson photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (www.sharpedgefoto.com)