ABINGTON, PA – The York College men's basketball team ran into a buzz saw as the Penn State Abington Lions hit a season-high 15 three point field goals en route to a 90-79 win over the Spartans on Wednesday in Abington, PA.
Both teams are now 1-5 after the contest.
The Lions, who entered the game shooting just 30.2% from three, scorched the nets to the tune of 75% from distance. Abington had made just 29 threes in their prior five games went an unbelievable 15-for-20 from beyond the arc in picking up their first win of the year.
The Spartans led early in the game but the Lions received four three pointers in four consecutive possessions, turning a 4-3 deficit into a 15-6 lead. Mike Mathews (Newark, Del./Salesianum) hit a lay up to draw York to within five at 18-13 but the Lions went on a 12-2 run to push their lead to 30-15 just midway through the half.
The Green and White pulled to within eight twice late in the half but the Lions scored eight of the final 13 points of the half to take a 50-37 lead to the break.
The story of the first half was junior guard Kyle Battell. The 5-9 guard entered the game averaging 3.4 points per game. He passed that mark just four minutes into the game. Battell went 7-for-8 from three in the first half as he poured in 22 points with his lone miss coming late in the half as the shot clock was winding down.
The Lions converted 10-of-15 from three in the first half while they shot 66.7% from the field overall.
Abington continued their hot shooting in the second half as they eventually pushed their lead to 18 on a pair of Darien Mitchell free throws with 13:38 left in the game. The Spartans went on a 14-2 run capped by junior Jeremy Skoloda's (Leola, Pa./Conestoga Valley) second three of the spurt. Mitchell answered Skoloda's triple with a three of his own, ending the Spartan run and giving the Lions some much needed momentum.
The Spartans trailed 72-64 on a Julian Watson (Odenton, Md./Arundel) free throw but Mitchell hit a back-breaking three to push the lead to 75-64. York would not get closer than nine the rest of the way as the Lions made enough plays down the stretch to keep the Spartans at bay.
Abington placed four players in double figures led by Battell as he finished with 22 points. Mitchell added 16 points and 12 assists for a double-double. Mike Marvin contributed a double-double of his own with 19 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Marvin was 8-for-11 from the floor while he was just 3-for-8 from the stripe. Max Alton added 18 points as he was 5-for-10 from the floor, 4-for-7 from three and 4-for-4 from the line.
Skoloda led the Spartans with a career-high 19 points including four three-point field goals. He also had a career-high tying four steals. Watson added 16 points, six rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot in 37 minutes. Watson is now just three points away from becoming the 21st player in school history to reach 1,000 career points.
Todd Maciejewski (Red Lion, Pa./Red Lion) contributed 12 points and six rebounds in his 26 minutes of action. He was 6-for-10 from the floor and 1-for-2 from the stripe. Senior Chad Styer (Elizabethtown, Pa./Elizabethtown) chipped in with a career-high 11 points including three triples in the loss.
While the Lions were on fire from the field, York shot 39.4% from the floor and 26.5% (9-for-34) from three. The Spartans were a sharp 14-for-17 (82.4%) from the free throw line. The Spartans had a whopping 27 more field goal attempts in the game but lost by 11.
York outrebounded the Lions 35-33 as the Spartans also had a 16-2 edge in second chance points. Unfortunately, Abington's hot shooting canceled out the Spartans' edge on the glass.
York committed a season-low eight turnovers while their 14 free throws were a season-high for makes at the charity stripe.
The Lions win over the Spartans marks the second straight year that they have knocked off York as former Spartan player and current Abington head coach Chris Potash picked up the win over his alma mater.
The Spartans continue their season-high seven game road trip on Saturday when they travel to Wesley to face the Wolverines in a Capital Athletic Conference contest. Game time from Wentworth Gymnasium is 3:00 pm.