December 4, 2013

Hot Free Throw Shooting Lifts Harrisburg over York

YORK, PA – The York College men's basketball team continued the rugged start to their 2013-14 season with a tough 70-65 Capital Athletic Conference loss to new league member PSU Harrisburg on Wednesday in York.

The win is the first league win for the Lions as they improve to 3-3 overall. The Spartans fall to 1-5 with the loss, as they are now 0-2 in the conference.

The game was extremely tight over the opening 15 minutes of the game. That period of time featured six ties and eight lead changes. The Spartans took their final lead of the game on a Ryan Beaver (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) triple with 4:42 left in the opening half. The Lions then ripped off a 14-3 run to build a 37-27 lead. The run was fueled by five Kenny Stone points and a pair of Marquese Daniels' lay ups.

York tallied the final three points of the half as they trailed 37-30 at the break.

PSU Harrisburg opened the second half with a 9-4 spurt to push their lead to 12 just over five minutes into the stanza.

The Spartans would fight and claw but every one of their spurts of momentum were answered by the Lions. York drew to within six at 55-49 as the Spartans looked poised to get even closer. However, Harrisburg's William Doyle drained a big three to push the lead back to nine. York cut the Lion lead to six on four different occasions in the final three minutes but each time Harrisburg made a shot to keep the Spartans at bay.

York finally cut the lead to less than six as they trimmed their deficit to four on a very deep Beaver three with 11 seconds left. However, Alberto De Los Santos was fouled and hit a pair of free throws, pushing the lead back to five. Senior Matt McNeely (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) cashed in his first three pointer of the year with three seconds left but De Los Santos iced the win with two more free throws with just over one second left.

The Lions were clutch from the free throw line over the final 2:23 of the game as they hit 12-of-14 during that stretch. 

The Lions placed three players in double figures led by Doyle as he notched 15 points in his 34 minutes of work. Doyle was 3-for-10 from the field including 3-of-7 from three while he nailed 6-of-7 from the free throw line. Doyle handed out five assists while he also had four rebounds and three steals. De Los Santos and Daniels each added 13 points for the Lions.

McNeely was fantastic for the Spartans as the senior forward notched a new career-high with 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field including his first career three. McNeely also had six rebounds in his 33 minutes of work. Fellow senior Mike Mathews (Newark, Del./Salesianum) was the other Spartan in double figures with 14 points while he also pulled in a career-high tying nine rebounds. Beaver added eight points while fellow freshman Brad Wesner (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Trinity) notched a career-high seven points while he also handed out a team-high three assists.

The Spartans finished the game shooting 46.8% from the floor, their second-highest mark of the season. The Green and White went 4-for-11 (36.4%) from three while they once again struggled from the charity stripe, going just 17-for-29 (58.6%). The Spartans are shooting 61.1% for the year and this is the third time they have been below that average this season.

Harrisburg finished the game shooting 43.8% from the field but they were good from distance, making 7-of-18 (38.9%). The Lions shot 75% (21-for-28) from the stripe in the game.

York finished the game with a slight 34-30 edge on the glass.

The Spartans continue their three-game home stand on Saturday when they host Christopher Newport in conference play. Tip time is set for 3:00 pm.

Brad Wesner photo courtesy of Taylor Gamber - Student Photographer