READING, PA – The Albright College Lions used a late game run to upend the York College Spartan men's basketball squad, 59-54, in the opening round of the Albright College Holiday Tournament on Sunday in Reading, PA.
The Lions improve to 4-5 overall while the Spartans fall to 1-8.
The Spartans found themselves down early as the Lions raced out to a 20-8 lead midway through the first half. The Green and White put together a 9-0 spurt to trim their deficit to 24-22 with 3:12 left in the half. The Lions responded with a 7-2 run of their own to take a 31-24 lead to the intermission.
After Albright opened the second half with a Kyle Jordan basket, the Spartans ripped off 10 straight points to take a 34-33 lead. Senior Matt McNeely (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) powered the run with six points on the run.
That Spartan spurt would start a back-and-forth run of play that would see four lead changes and a trio of ties. York would build a lead to as many as five at 48-43 but the Lions would score seven of the next nine points of the game to tie the contest at 50 with 3:38 left. The two teams would be tied again at 52 but the Lions would go ahead for good on a Pedro Perez lay up with 1:48 left in the game. Albright scored seven of the final nine points of the game to secure the win.
Perez led the Lions with 25 points including 12-of-17 from the free throw line. Perez was 6-for-16 from the floor including 1-for-4 from three. Perez also pulled in a game-high 11 rebounds for the double-double. Jordan was the other Lion in double figures with 12 points. Jordan also collected eight rebounds, four steals, and three blocked shots in his 33 minutes of work. Calvert Gantz was huge on the defensive end for Albright as he recorded 10 blocked shots, five rebounds, and nine points. The Lions finished the game with 17 blocked shots. They entered the game sixth in the country in blocked shots per game.
McNeely led the Spartans as the senior forward recorded 14 points and eight rebounds in the loss. Fellow senior Mike Mathews (Newark, Del./Salesianum) was the other Spartan to reach double figures with 10 points while he pulled in a career-high tying nine rebounds.
York shot 34.8% from the floor and 33.3% from three. The Spartans went to the line just nine times in the loss, making five for a 55.6% conversion rate.
Albright finished the game shooting 36.5% from the field and 20% (2-for-10) from three. The Lions held a huge advantage at the free throw line, going 19-for-31 (61.3%) from the stripe in the win.
Albright outrebounded York 44-40 and held a 15-5 margin in second chance points.
The loss for York is their fifth defeat by five points or less this season.
York returns to action on Monday afternoon when they face Farmingdale State in the consolation game of the tournament. Tip time against the Rams is set for 2:00 pm. The two squads met last December 29 in the consolation game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic with Farmingdale picking up a 70-61 win at Wolf Gymnasium.