MEMPHIS, TENN – The York College men's basketball team received double figure efforts from five different players as the Spartans rolled past Knox College 93-52 in the consolation game of the Rhodes College Christmas Tournament in Memphis, Tennessee on Saturday afternoon.
The Spartans, winners of three of their last four games, improve to 4-6 overall while the Prairie Fire falls to 1-10 for the campaign.
York started the game out on a 7-0 run as Mike Mathews (Newark, Del./Salesianum) tallied five points on the game-opening spurt as the Spartans jumped on Knox early. The Green and White pushed the lead into double figures, at 17-7, on a Mathews jumper at the 11:45 mark of the first half.
Knox's Mitch Murphy hit a three to cut York's lead to seven but the Green and White went on a 10-2 run to take a 29-14 lead with just over eight minutes remaining in the half. The Prairie Fire went on a 12-4 spurt late in the half to trim the Spartan lead to six at 39-33. York responded by scoring seven of the final eight points of the half to take a 46-34 lead to the break.
The Prairie Fire trimmed the Spartan advantage to nine just over a minute into the second half but York started to slowly pull away as a Mitch Kemp (York, Pa./York Suburban) hit a triple to start a 10-2 Spartan spurt that would push York's lead to 17 five minutes into the half.
Knox got to within 12 at 58-26 but the Spartans went on a game-ending 21-3 run to push the lead to 30 with 6:27 left in the game. The final 41-point margin was the biggest lead for the Spartans and marks their biggest margin of victory this season.
Kemp tallied a team-high 16 points as he was 6-for-9 from the field including 4-of-6 from three while he also had five rebounds and two assists in his 18 minutes of play. Senior Todd Maciejewski (Red Lion, Pa./Red Lion) notched his fourth double-double of the year with 12 points and 14 rebounds. He also handed out five assists and had one steal in his 23 minutes of action.
Mathews finished the day with 11 points, four rebounds and three assists. Senior Julian Watson (Odenton, Md./Arundel) and junior Matt McNeely (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) each added 10 points. McNeely's ten markers were a career-high as were his five rebounds and three assists.
Lukas Shaw paced Knox with 16 points as he was 7-for-11 from the floor and 2-for-4 from the stripe. Shaw also had four rebounds and a blocked shot. Murphy was the other Knox player in double figures with 12 points. Murphy struggled to get his points with a 4-of-13 performance from the floor including 3-of-10 from deep.
The Spartans shot a season-best 58.2% from the floor including a blistering 65.5% in the second half. York was 8-for-15 from three including 3-for-4 from beyond the arc in the second stanza. York did struggle from the free throw line as they went just 7-for-14 from the stripe.
The Prairie Fire shot just 33.3% from the field including an ice-cold 6-for-29 from beyond the arc. Knox wasn't very good from the free throw line either as they went 6-for-11 from the line.
York forced 15 turnovers in the game, which they turned into 22 points. The Spartans had 12 turnovers but Knox was only able to create four points off the Green and White miscues.
The Spartans out-rebounded Knox 48-27, their largest advantage on the glass this year. That allowed York to hold a 18-6 margin in second-chance points while the Spartans had a big 54-20 edge in points in the paint.
The win closes out a season-high seven game road swing for the Spartans. The Green and White returns to Wolf Gymnasium on Friday, December 28 when they host Grove City College in the opening round of the 13th Annual Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in York. Tip time for the contest is set for 6:00 pm and will be followed by the second semifinal, which features Gettysburg and Brockport State. The game kicks off a season-high five game homestand.