GETTYSBURG, PA – The York College men's basketball squad picked up their first win in the Matt Hunter era as the Spartans notched a 55-44 win at Gettysburg College on Sunday afternoon at Bream Gymnasium.
The Spartans improve to 1-3 overall while the Bullets fall to 2-2.
The Green and White got off to a good start in the game. York sprinted out to a 9-3 lead before the Bullets came back to forge a 17-17 tie with 10:07 left in the opening half. The game went back and forth over the next four and a half minutes before the Spartans got a three from Mike Mathews (Newark, Del./Salesianum) and four straight points from Todd Maciejewski (Red Lion, Pa./Red Lion) to take a 31-24 lead just before the half. Joe Emerusabe canned a three with 37 second left in the half but senior Julian Watson (Odenton, Md./Arundel) hit a jumper in the middle of the lane with five seconds remaining, giving York a 33-27 lead at the break.
It was the first halftime lead for the Spartans this season.
The Spartans clamped down defensively to open the second half as they held the Bullets off the board for the opening 5:36 of the stanza. Unfortunately for York, their offense wouldn't be able to increase the lead to more than ten during the Bullet drought as they also struggled to put the ball in the basket.
York maintained their lead between eight and 11 points over the next six minutes as neither squad could get much going offensively. The Spartans increased the lead to 13 on a big Mitch Kemp (York, Pa./York Suburban) three off a Jeremy Skoloda (Leola, Pa./Conestoga Valley) offensive rebound with 8:21 left in the game.
The Bullets would not get closer than eight the rest of the way. York converted five from seven from the line over the final minute to secure Coach Hunter's first Spartan win.
Maciejewski recorded his first double-double of the year as the senior forward tallied 16 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. He also handed out four assists and notched two steals in his 34 minutes of work. Maciejewski was 7-of-12 from the floor and 2-for-2 from the free throw line. Mathews tallied a career-high 13 points as the junior also had a career-high seven rebounds.
Skoloda added 11 points including a season-high three three-pointers for York.
Alex Zurn led all scorers with 22 points as he was 8-for-17 from the floor, 3-for-8 from three and 3-for-3 from the stripe. Zurn also led Gettysburg on the glass with eight rebounds while he posted a game-high three steals. Emerusabe chipped in with eight points for Gettysburg.
The Spartans finished the game shooting 36.5% from the floor. York converted 9-of-24 (37.5%) from three and 8-of-12 (66.7%) from the line. The Bullets shot 33.3% from the field, 27.3% from three and 57.1% (4-for-7) from the charity stripe.
Hunter was very pleased with his team's defensive effort.
"We came out and executed our game plan really well," said Hunter. "We packed it in and got them to play out on the perimeter. I thought our guys played extremely hard and were very disciplined defensively. I was really happy with our effort."
When asked about picking up his first win at the helm of the Spartans, Hunter was quick to deflect the praise to his team.
"It feels great but it's not about me, it's about the guys that are in that locker room right now. They are the ones that have put in the work, the blood, the sweat and the tears and they deserve it. We have been getting better every day at practice and this day was coming. It was just a matter of when."
The Spartans did a fantastic job of taking care of the ball as they committed a season-low nine turnovers.
The Green and White return to action on Saturday, December 1 when they open their Capital Athletic Conference slate with a contest at St. Mary's College. It is the second game of a season-high seven game road trip. Tip time at the ARC Arena is set for 4:00 pm.
Todd Maciejewski photo courtesy of Scott Guise - Director of Athletic Communications