ST. MARY'S CITY, MD – The shorthanded York College men's basketball team had their work cut out for them on Wednesday night in St. Mary's City, MD. The Spartans, missing two starters, gave the Seahawks a game as they fell 71-60 in Capital Athletic Conference action.
The Seahawks improve to 16-6 overall and 10-4 in the CAC as they continue to chase a top two seed in the upcoming CAC Tournament. The loss drops the Spartans to 4-18 overall and 3-11 in the league.
The Seahawks jumped on the Spartans early as they sprinted out to a 10-0 lead. The Spartans answered with five straight points before St. Mary's quickly pushed the lead back to 10.
The Seahawk lead vacillated between seven and 14 over the remainder of the half as St. Mary's took a 38-24 advantage to the break.
SMC opened the second half with a pair of Nick LaGuerre threes in their first three possessions as the lead grew to 15. That's when the Spartans started to climb back into the game. York went on a 10-3 sprint, cutting the St. Mary's lead to eight at 47-39. The Spartans eventually trimmed the St. Mary's lead to just four on a pair of Evan Crosby (Honeoye Falls, N.Y./McQuaid Jesuit) free throws with 9:35 left in the game.
After the teams traded baskets, the Seahawks hit the Spartans with a quick 7-0 spurt that pushed the lead back to 11 with 5:57 left in the game. York got back to within seven on a Mike Mathews (Newark, Del./Salesianum) lay up with 2:59 left. The Seahawks would make enough plays down the stretch to hold the Spartans off and pick up the 11-point win.
LaGuerre led the Seahawks with 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the floor including 5-of-8 from three. He also had three rebounds in his 31 minutes of play. Brendan McFall added 14 points, six rebounds, and two steals to the SMC effort. Donn Hill was the third Hawk in double figures with 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and a steal.
Freshman Ryan Beaver (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) established a new career high with 21 points on 8-of-13 from the floor including 5-for-8 from three. He also had four rebounds for York. Senior Matt McNeely (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) added 12 points, five rebounds, and two steals for the Green and White. Freshman Joey Feinberg (New City, N.Y./Don Bosco Prep) dished out eight assists while he also had seven points, three rebounds, and two steals in his career-high 36 minutes of play. Mathews contributed nine points and six rebounds to the Spartan attack.
Spartan head coach Matt Hunter was pleased with the effort of his squad.
"Our guys really battled tonight," said Hunter. "St. Mary's very good team but we kept fighting and really gave them a game. To go on the road against one of the best teams in the conference and be in a four-point game midway through the second half is a credit to the kids we have in this program. I am proud of how hard our kids played."
York shot 42% from the floor for the game while they went 5-of-10 from three. York was better than they have been at the free throw line as they went 13-for-19 (68.4%). St. Mary's shot 45.8% from the field and a blistering 9-for-16 (56.3%) from three. St. Mary's struggled from the charity stripe, making just 8-of-14 (57.1%) in the win.
The Spartan did a great job on the glass as they outrebounded the Seahawks 37-30. York turned the ball over 23 times but the Seahawks converted those miscues into just 16 points. York forced 14 turnovers, which they turned into 13 points.
The Green and White continues their three-game road trip when they trek to Salisbury University to face the Sea Gulls in a CAC contest. Game time is set for 4:00 pm in Salisbury, Md.