ST. MARY'S CITY, MD – The York College Spartan men's basketball team opened their Capital Athletic Conference title defense with a hard-fought 58-50 setback at #25 St. Mary's College on Saturday afternoon in St. Mary's City, MD.
The Seahawks improve to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the league while the Spartans fall to 1-4 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
The Seahawks threatened to blow the Spartans out early as they sprinted out to a 19-4 lead just over eight minutes into the game. York committed five turnovers on the Seahawk run which led to eight St. Mary's points.
The Spartans battled back with a 9-0 spurt to cut the Seahawk lead to six but St. Mary's scored seven of the next nine points to push the lead back to 11 at 26-15 with 1:07 left in the half. York got a Julian Watson (Odenton, Md./Arundel) three and a Todd Maciejewski (Red Lion, Pa./Red Lion) lay up to head to the locker room down 26-20 after the opening 20 minutes of play.
The Seahawks were able to keep the Spartans' at bay in the opening ten minutes of the second half as York would get close and St. Mary's would answer back. The Seahawks led 40-33 when the Spartans embarked on a 12-3 spurt that gave York a 45-43 lead, remarkable considering the Spartans were down big so early in the tough road contest.
The game then went back and forth over the final seven minutes of the game as there were four lead changes and three ties. Senior Mitch Kemp (York, Pa./York Suburban) gave the Spartans their last lead of the game when he drilled a three pointer with 4:35 left in the game. Unfortunately for York, their would be their last points of the game as the Seahawks closed out the contest on a 9-0 run.
After Kemp's three, the Spartans went 0-for-5 from the floor including 0-3 from three while the Seahawks salted away the win with a pair of three pointers and a 5-for-6 performance from the free throw line.
Nick LaGuerre led the St. Mary's with 14 points in his 35 minutes of work. Nine of LaGuerre's 14 points came in the game-opening run for the Hawks. Jeff Haus added 11 points, four rebounds, and two blocked shots. Donn Hill and James Davenport each contributed 10 points. Devin Spencer chipped in with eight points, eight rebounds, and seven assists for the Seahawks.
Watson poured in a game-high 18 points while he also a career-high tying seven rebounds. The senior point guard was 7-for-13 from the floor including 3-for-4 from three. Watson also had three assists as he played all 40 minutes for York. Watson is now 19 points away from becoming the 21st member of the York College men's basketball 1,000 career point club.
Maciejewksi was the other Spartan in double figures with 16 points while he also had six rebounds. Maciejewski was 6-for-11 from the floor and a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
The Spartans shot 38% for the game from the floor while they converted 5-of-17 (29.4%) from three. St. Mary's shot 36.2% from the field in the win while they also made 8-of-27 (29.6%) from three. St. Mary's held a significant edge at the free throw line as they were 16-for-22 (72.3%) from the stripe while York made only eight trips, converting seven (87.5%).
The Spartans outrebounded the Seahawks 36-30 but York committed a season-high 20 turnovers in the loss. St. Mary's turned the Spartan miscues into 21 points.
The Green and White returns to action on Wednesday night when they travel to Penn State Abington to face the Lions in a non-conference contest. Game time is slated for 7:00 pm.
Julian Watson photo courtesy of David Sinclair (www.davidsinclair.org)