YORK, PA – The York College men's basketball team dropped a hard-fought 63-60 decision to Capital Athletic Conference newcomer Christopher Newport on Saturday in York.
The Captains earn their first-ever CAC win as they improve to 6-1 overall and 1-0 in the league. The Spartans have now lost six straight as they fall to 1-6 overall and 0-3 in the conference.
The game was slow to get going on the offensive end as neither team really had any momentum going in the opening five minutes of the game. The teams combined for just 13 points during that game-opening stretch as the Captains led 8-5.
CNU opened up a lead of 11 with a 15-5 run that covered almost ten minutes of game time. The Spartans cut the lead to nine on a Matt McNeely (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) three-point play with 30 seconds left in the half but Kevin Regimbal drained a long three at the buzzer to give the Captains a 33-21 halftime lead.
The Captains had a huge advantage on the glass as they collected the first ten rebounds of the game. CNU had a 23-10 margin on the glass in the first 20 minutes of play. That disparity led to 15 second chance points for the Captains.
CNU also took advantage of some poor Spartan ball handing as the Green and White committed 15 first half turnovers, which led to 17 CNU points.
The Captains came out of the intermission poised to blow out the Spartans in their own building. CNU drove the lead up to a game-high 18 points on a Connor Laframboise three less than two minutes into the second half.
However, the youthful Spartans wouldn't go away. York cut into the lead thanks to a 12-5 run highlighted by three-pointers from Mike Mathews (Newark, Del./Salesianum) and Dalton Myers (Finksburg, Md./Westminster). The Captain lead bounced between 10 and 15 points over the next nine minutes as they answered each of the Spartan surges with buckets, quelling any building York momentum.
The Spartans made a late run, outscoring the Captains 9-3 to trim the CNU lead to 61-57 with 23 seconds left. The Spartans then fouled and a got a Mike Cherry miss and a McNeely rebound with 14 seconds left. The Spartans committed a traveling violation with seven seconds left. York had to foul and Luc Atangana drained both his free throws to push the lead to 63-57. Freshman Joey Feinberg (New City, N.Y./Don Bosco Prep) hit a three with just under a second left to provide for the final margin.
The Captains were led by senior All-American Tre Benefield as he poured in a game-high 22 points while he also had nine rebounds in his 38 minutes of action. Benefield was 9-for-19 from the floor including 4-of-9 from three. Laframboise added eight points while Cherry contributed seven points and five assists.
York was led by freshman Ryan Beaver (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) as the guard tallied a career-high 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the floor. Beaver canned three three-pointers and went 4-for-4 at the line. He also had four rebounds for York. Mathews added 11 points, three rebounds, and four assists for the Green and White. Feinberg contributed a career-high 10 points including a pair of three pointers.
York did a much better job of taking care of the ball in the second half as they committed just six miscues.
York finished the game shooting 44% from the floor and 44.4% (8-of-18) from three. The eight three-point field goals were a season high for the Spartans. York went 8-for-12 (66.7%) from the charity stripe.
The Captains finished the game shooting 39.3% from the floor while they went 1-for-28 (35.7%) from distance. CNU was brutal from the free throw line as they went just 9-for-20 (45%). The Captains inability to shoot free throws left the door open for the Spartans to stage the late-game comeback attempt.
The Captains finished the game with a 40-30 edge in rebounding which led to a 20-6 margin in second chance points.
After taking a week off for final exams, the Spartans will return to action on Saturday, December 21 when they host Alvernia University in a non-conference contest. Tip time from Wolf Gymnasium is set for 1:00 pm.
Ryan Beaver photo courtesy of Zach Rogers