YORK, PA – The hot shooting Messiah College Falcons men's basketball team spoiled the York College home opener on Tuesday night as the Falcons picked up a 75-62 non-conference win in York.
The Spartans remain in search of win number one as they fall to 0-3 while Messiah improves to 1-2.
The Falcons got their long distance shooting dialed up midway through the half as they canned five of their six first half three pointers over a ten minute stretch, turning a 5-5 tie into a 29-21 lead with 7:36 remaining in the first half.
Messiah pushed the lead to 10 before the Green and White got a Mitch Kemp (York, Pa./York Suburban) triple and a Matt McNeely (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) hoop, trimming the Falcon lead to five. The Falcons ended the half with a game-changing 12-2 run that pushed the Messiah lead to 15 at the break.
The guests shot 61.5% in the first half while they outrebounded York 14-8 in the stanza. The Spartans shot the ball well, converting 50% from the floor, but the Falcons made six more field goals to forge the double digit lead at the break.
Messiah carried their half-ending run to the start of the second as they scored seven of the first nine points of the half, increasing their lead to 20 at 50-30.
The Falcons maintained their lead in the high teens before twice pushing the advantage to a game-high 23 midway through the half.
The Spartans kept attacking the Falcons as York fashioned a six-minute 16-5 run that trimmed their deficit to 72-60. Unfortunately for York, they ran out of time as the Falcons finished off the 13-point win.
Messiah placed four players in double figures led by Brad Bolen as he poured in a game-high 22 points. Bolen was 7-for-11 from the floor including 4-of-6 from three while he was also 4-for-4 from the line. Derek Mosley contributed 17 points, three rebounds and three assists. Scott Bolen chipped in with 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting including 3-of-4 from three and 2-for-2 from the line. Taylor Groff was the fourth Falcon in double figures with 12 points. Point guard Zac Hoy had a fantastic floor game as he tallied nine assists with one steal and zero turnovers in his 37 minutes of action. Hoy added seven rebounds and three points for the Falcons.
Senior Julian Watson (Odenton, Md./Arundel) led the Spartans as he tallied 18 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the floor. Watson also had six rebounds and four rebounds for the Green and White. Kemp was the other Spartan in double figures with 10 points as he was 3-for-5 from three and 1-for-1 at the stripe. Kemp also notched six rebounds and four assists. Senior Jeremy Skoloda (Leola, Pa./Conestoga Valley), senior Todd Maciejewski (Red Lion, Pa./Red Lion), and junior Mike Mathews (Newark, Del./Salesianum) each contributed nine points to the Spartan offense.
York actually finished the game with a higher percentage from the field as they converted 55.8% of their attempts from the floor. The Spartans were a very efficient 9-for-15 (60%) from the three-point arc. The Falcons shot 54% in the game while they went 11-for-23 (47.8%) from three and a sharp 10-for-12 from the stripe.
The Falcons outrebounded York 27-20 while they also did a great job of taking care of the ball, committing just eight turnovers in the game. The Spartans made 11 miscues in the game, which resulted in 16 Falcon points.
York's first-year head coach Matt Hunter knows the Spartans have run into three hot shooting teams.
"Our guys are competing like crazy," said Hunter. "We've run into three teams that have shot the ball incredibly well to start the year. Guys have come out and made shots and some of those shots have been really well contested with the shot clock running down. You have to give credit to them, they stepped up and made shots."
Hunter isn't down on his team.
"I am not down about where we are at all," said the Spartan head coach. "We are improving every day and goal is to improve every day. I really like where we are heading."
The Spartans return to action on Sunday, November 25 when they travel to Gettysburg to face the Bullets in a non-conference contest. Tip time at Bream Gymnasium is set for 3:00 pm.
Todd Maciejewski photo courtesy of Theresa Dark - Athletic Communications Student Photographer