SALISBURY, MD – The York College men's basketball team closed out their regular season slate with a very clutch 65-61 road victory at Salisbury University on Saturday afternoon in Capital Athletic Conference action. The win, along with a Frostburg State University loss, allowed the Spartans to catpure the fourth seed in next week's CAC Tournament. The Spartans improve to 15-10 overall and 10-6 in the CAC. The Sea Gulls finish the season with an overall record of 12-13 while they conclude the year 5-11 in the conference.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair as Salisbury would push out to a lead before the Spartans would battle back to tie the game. The opening six minutes of the game featured four ties and three lead changes. After the fourth tie of the half, the Sea Gulls went on an 11-4 run that gave them a 24-17 lead with 10:28 remaining in the first half.
York answered Salisbury's run with a 9-2 spurt of their own, tying the game for the fifth time with 5:30 showing on the clock. After the two teams exchanged baskets, the Sea Gulls went on a quick 7-0 run as they took a 36-29 lead. York's Jeremy Skoloda halted the run with a triple with 51 ticks left in the opening half. That would be the last points of the stanza as the Green and White headed to the locker room down 36-32.
The Sea Gulls maintained their lead in the early stages of the second half before the Spartans caught up and tied their hosts at 41 with 13:52 left in regulation. That tie started another back and forth stretch of the game as the next nine minutes featured four ties and two lead changes while neither team had more than a three point lead.
The game was tied for the 12th and final time with 4:20 left as Salisbury's Tim Harwood canned a triple, knotting the game at 53. The Sea Gulls took a short lived two point lead on a pair of Trent Epps free throws before York's Mitch Kemp hit a three from the left wing, giving York a 56-55 lead. The hosts took their final lead of the game when Epps hit a lay up with 2:06 left. The Spartans answered when senior Mo Oursler took a kick out pass from Paul Kouvaris and drilled a three, giving York a 59-57 lead. That bomb proved to be basket that put the Spartan on top to stay.
Kouvaris got a key basket on the ensuing Spartan possession after the York defense forced a Salisbury turnover. Salisbury's Jason Nwosu hit one of two free throws with 41 seconds left but York converted four straight free throws down the stretch to earn the big road win.
Kouvaris led the Green and White with 22 points, as the senior forward was 9-for-16 from the floor and 4-for-5 from the line. He pulled in four rebounds and had two assists in his 28 minutes of work. Oursler was the other Spartan in double figures with 11 points while he also collected seven rebounds for York. Skoloda tallied seven points and pulled in a career-high tying eight rebounds.
Epps paced the Sea Gulls as he poured in 17 points as he was 6-for-10 from the floor and 5-for-6 from the line. He also notched five boards for the Gulls. Chris Viqueira was the other Gull in double figures with 11 points. Mike Maczko closes out his Salisbury career with nine points and nine rebounds in the loss.
York shot 44% from the field and a steady 42.9% (6-for-14) from the floor. The Spartans were very accurate from the stripe as they went 15-for-18 (83.3%) in the win.
Salisbury shot 36.5% from the floor and 28.6% (6-for-21) from three. The Gulls were also very good from the line, converting 17-of-20 (85%).
The Spartans will open the 2012 Capital Athletic Conference Tournament at home on Tuesday night, as they will host Frostburg State University at Wolf Gymnasium. Tip time is set for 7:00 pm.