GRANTHAM, PA – The York College men's basketball team earned a hard-fought 72-59 road victory at Messiah College on Tuesday night in Grantham, PA. The Spartans improve to 3-1 overall while the Falcons fall to 2-2 for the campaign.
The Falcons got off to an early 2-0 lead but the Spartans answered by scoring 18 of the next 20 points of the game to take an 18-4 advantage. Junior Julian Watson powered the run with seven points while senior Paul Kouvaris added five points and fellow senior Andrew Pawlyk contributed four points in the spurt.
The Falcons worked the Spartan lead down to seven twice in the opening half but York closed the half on a 7-0 run, pushing their lead to 33-19 at the break.
The Green and White came out of the intermission and quickly pushed their advantage to 17 as Pawlyk and Jeremy Skoloda scored on back-to-back possessions to open the stanza. In fact, the Spartans opened the half on an 8-2 run, increasing the lead to a game-high 20 points on a Pawlyk lay up with 17:56 left on the clock.
That's when the Falcons began to climb back into the game. They worked the York lead down to single digits on a Derek Mosley three with 9:25 remaining in the half. York got it back to 11 on a Todd Maciejewski lay up but Messiah scored 11 of the next 18 points to cut the York advantage to just four at 59-53. Watson then hit a huge three, his first triple of the year, and hit a free throw on the next possession to increase the York lead back to eight. Junior Mitch Kemp then hit a lay up to push the York lead to 65-55 with 1:03 left. The Spartans hit seven of eight free throws in the final 45 seconds of the game to secure the win.
Watson, Pawlyk, and Maciejewski paced the Spartans with 15 points each. Watson added five rebounds and three assists while pulled in a season and game-high nine rebounds. The 15 points for Pawlyk ties a career-high. Maciejewski was 7-for-11 from the floor with four rebounds and two assists.
York did a good job of taking care of the ball, committing just 14 turnovers. The Spartans shot 44.6% from the floor and 44.4% (4-of-9) from three. The Green and White was also an efficient 18-of-23 (78.3%) from the charity stripe.
Messiah was led by David Fernandez as the forward had 20 points, four rebounds, and three blocked shots. He was 7-for-13 from the floor and a perfect 6-for-6 from the stripe. Mosley added 18 points on five threes, a field goal and a free throw. He also had six boards and three assists. Fernandez and Mosley combined to score 54% of the Falcon points on the night. Brad Bolen was the third Falcon in double figures with 11 points.
York held Messiah to 37.3% shooting from the floor including 30.8% from three. Messiah did nail 7-of-10 from the stripe in the loss.
The Spartans dominated the glass all night long as York held a significant 44-27 edge in rebounding. York collected 14 offensive rebounds, which led to 15 second chance points.
York will get a few days off for the Thanksgiving holiday before returning to the court on Sunday, November 27 when they host Gettysburg College in a non-conference tilt. Game time is set for 2:00 pm at Wolf Gymnasium.