HARRISBURG, PA – York College senior guard Julian Watson (Odenton, Md./Arundel) poured in a career-high 29 points while fellow senior Todd Maciejewski (Red Lion, Pa./Red Lion) added a career-high 22 as the Spartans rolled past Penn State Harrisburg 90-71 on Tuesday night in Harrisburg.
The Spartans have now won two straight as they improve to 3-5 overall. The Lions had their two-game win streak snapped as they fall to 4-5 for the campaign. Next year, Penn State Harrisburg joins the Spartans in the Capital Athletic Conference.
York was sloppy early as the Spartans committed turnovers on four of their first seven possessions before the offense started to kick in. The Green and White took a 10-5 lead on a Mitch Kemp (York, Pa./York Suburban) triple at the 15:41 mark.
York slowly built on the lead midway through the half as it grew to 15 on a Maciejewski tip-in at the 7:59 mark The Lions quickly cut the York lead back to 10 with a quick five point spurt. After York upped the lead again, the Lions drew to within eight at 37-29. York responded as the Spartans scored 10 of the final 16 points of the half to take a 47-35 lead to the break.
The Green and White maintained the lead in double digits for first ten minutes of the second half, building it to a high of 15 at 55-40. Penn State Harrisburg kept fighting, not allowing York to pull away any further as the Lions kept within striking distance. The Lions trimmed the York lead to eight at 72-64 but York went on a 13-3 run, pushing the lead to 18, essentially putting the game away. The Spartans would finish with a 19-point bulge, their highest margin of victory for the year.
Watson and Maciejewski were nothing short of fantastic for York. Watson's career-high 29 came on a very efficient 8-of-11 from the field including a career-high 13-of-16 from the free throw line. He added four rebounds and four assists in his 38 minutes of work. Maciejewski was also great as he tallied his 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting while he also went 4-for-6 from the line. Maciejewski pulled in 18 rebounds, four short of the school record, while 13 of his 18 rebounds came on the offensive end.
Senior Jeremy Skoloda (Leola, Pa./Conestoga) played well for York with 13 points, four rebounds, and three steals. Kemp was the fourth Spartan in double figures with 10 points.
Thristan Lunday came off the bench to power the Lions with 20 points and eight rebounds. Lunday was 8-for-13 from the field and 4-for-6 from the line in his 25 minutes of action. Jordan Gatchell added 16 points, five assists, two rebounds and two steals while William Doyle was the third Lion in double figures with 11 points.
The Spartans shot well from the field, converting a 46.6% clip in the win. York was a pedestrian 3-for-10 from distance but went to the free throw line 43 times, converting 33, good for a 76.7% conversion rate. The 43 free throw attempts are just three less than they have attempted in their last three games combined. The 33 made free throws match their combined total from their last three contests.
The Lions shot 46.3% from the field while they went 5-for-17 (29.4%) from beyond the arc. Harrisburg went 16-for-21 (76.2%) from the line.
The Spartans held a huge advantage on the glass, outrebounding their hosts 42-22. That allowed York to hold a 21-8 edge in second chance points while the Green and White also had a 38-28 margin in points in the paint. While the rebounds didn't give York a big disparity in total shots (58 to 54), it did allow Spartans extra possessions, which manifested itself into a big free throw margin (43 to 21).
The Spartans will return to action on Friday, December 21 when they face Kalamazzo College in the opening round of the Rhodes College Crowne Plaza Tournament. Tip time from Memphis, Tennessee is set for 5:00 pm.