LEXINGTON, VA – The York College men's basketball team survived shaky shooting from the free throw line to upset #2 Middlebury College 90-87 in overtime in the opening round of the W&L Holiday Tournament in Lexington, VA on Friday afternoon.
The Spartans squandered a 12-point lead late in the second half and survived 16-for-32 shooting from the free throw line to win the game against the nationally-ranked Panthers.
York improves to 10-0 for the first time in the 49-year history of the Spartan men's basketball program.
Records: #25 York 10-0, #2 Middlebury 6-1
Final Score: York 90, Middlebury 87 in OT
Field Goals: York 32-for-76, Middlebury 31-for-85
Field Goal %: York 42.1%, Middlebury 36.5%
Three Point FG: York 10-for-31, Middlebury 7-for-29
Three Point FG %: York 32.3%, Middlebury 24.1%
Free Throws: York 16-for-32, Middlebury 18-for-22
Free Throw %: York 50%, Middlebury 81.8%
Rebounds: York 52, Middlebury 57
Assists: York 16, Middlebury 13
Blocked Shots: York 8, Middlebury 7
Steals: York 15, Middlebury 16
How It Happened
• The Panthers raced out to an early lead as the two teams played at a pretty quick tempo in the opening five minutes of the game. The Spartans erased the Middlebury lead as Joey Polczynski hit a three pointer to put York on top 15-13. York carried the lead through the next six minutes and pushed it to a half-high 11 points on a Zach Novick triple with 7:10 left in the half.
• Middlebury answered with a quick 7-0 spurt, cutting the York lead to 30-26 with less than six minutes remaining in the half. The Spartans pushed the lead back to seven three more times with the last coming at 37-30 with 1:06 left. The Panthers scored the final four points of the half to cut York's advantage to 37-34 at the intermission.
• York got off to a great start in the second half, pushing their lead back to eight 1:09 into the stanza. York eventually increased the lead to 11 on a Darin Gordon three pointer from the corner with 14:02 left in regulation. Middlebury wasted little time in answering York's charge with a quick 8-0 run, cutting York's lead to three at 53-50. The Green and White responded with an 8-0 spurt of their own to kick the lead back to 11 with 8:59 left in the game.
• The Spartans pushed their lead to a game-high 12 points on a Jason Bady three-point play with 6:09 left but the Panthers kept the Green and White within striking distance as York continued to struggle from the free throw line.
• Jared Wagner split a pair of free throws with 4:16 left in regulation, putting York up 10 at 70-60. That's when Middlebury made their move. The Panthers hit York with a staggering 8-0 run. York seemed to have no answer as the second ranked team in the country stormed back. Blayde Reich seemed to stem the tide with a lay up at the 2:01 mark but Jack Daly hit a lay up two possessions later to draw the Panthers to within two. After a Spartan turnover with 1:21 left, Matt Folger hit a huge three from the right wing to give the Panthers their first lead since they led 13-12 five minutes into the game. After another Spartan turnover, Jack Farrell split a pair from the line, giving York the ball with 36 seconds left, down two.
• The Green and White got a Reich lay up on their ensuing possession, tying the game at 74 but leaving 24 seconds on the clock for the Panthers. Middlebury put the ball in the hands of preseason All-American Daly and as he began his drive to win the game, Bady poked the ball away, giving York possession with four seconds left. The Green and White got a good look but Matt Scamuffo's game winning attempt was just long as the Spartans headed to overtime for the first time this year.
• The Green and White seized control early in the overtime and eventually pushed their lead to seven (85-78) on a Bady free throw with 1:17 left in the overtime. That's when things again got interesting because of York's struggles from the stripe. The Green and White actually pushed the lead to eight with 32 seconds left but Middlebury kept coming at York. They got a Joey Leighton three with 30 seconds left to cut the lead to five. After Scamuffo split two free throws, Adisa Majors hit a lay up with 19 seconds left to cut York's lead to 88-84. Scamuffo again split a pair with 17 seconds left but Folger hit another huge three to cut the lead to two with 9.3 seconds left. York was called for a five second violation but the Panthers couldn't make it hurt as Reich stole the inbounds pass and Gordon split a pair with 4.4 seconds left. Ferrell had a look to tie the game but the rushed shot hit the back of the rim and bounced away harmlessly as York pulled the upset victory.
Blayde Reich: 15 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocked shots, 3 steals, 1 assist
Dalton Myers: 19 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 blocked shot
Jason Bady: 14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 blocked shots, 4 steals
Matt Scamuffo: 16 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal
Matt Folger: 22 points, 12 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 blocked shots
Jack Daly: 20 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals
Hilah Dahleh: 11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 blocked shot, 2 steals
Jack Ferrell: 11 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 5 steals
The meeting was the first between the two programs … the win over the #2 Panthers marks the fourth win over a ranked time in the Matt Hunter era with three of those four wins coming this season … York has now knocked off #24 Scranton, #12 Swarthmore and #2 Middlebury this season … the win over the #2 Panthers marks the highest ranked team York has beaten in the Hunter era, besting the victory over #6 Wesley on February 6, 2014 … the Spartans 85 shots allowed is their second highest opponent total of the season, bested only by the 88 hoisted up by Frostburg State on December 6 … the 57 rebounds against is a season high by five caroms … York's 52 rebounds were a season-high by three boards … York's eight blocked shots were their second highest total of the season … York's ten three pointers marked the sixth time this year they have reached double figures in three pointers made … senior Blayde Reich notched his second straight double-double of the year and fourth of his Spartan career with his 15 points and 10 rebounds … junior Jason Bady notched his career-high with four blocked shots in the win and that's tied for the ninth most in a single game in Spartan history … Bady reached double figures in scoring for the fourth time this year … seniors Dalton Myers and Matt Scamuffo continue to climb the career scoring chart as Myers now has 1,182 points and Scamuffo has 1,148 points … Myers is now 15th all-time as he passed Rawle Phillips in the game while Scamuffo is one point behind Todd Witmer for 18th place on the all-time list.
The Spartans return to action on Saturday afternoon as they face the host Generals in the tournament championship game, tipping at 4:00 pm at the Warner Center in Lexington. The Spartans will be looking for their second tournament championship of the year after winning the Scranton Tournament to open the season.