The York College men's basketball team stunned Wesley College 62-48 in Capital Athletic Conference action on Thursday night in York.
Wesley came into the game ranked No. 6 in NCAA Division III.
That was just part of a big night for York College basketball. The Spartan women crushed Wesley in the first game of the doubleheader at Wolf Gym, 73-48.
The Spartan men improved to 4-16 overall and 2-9 in the CAC. The loss snapped Wesley's school-record 12-game win streak. Wesley suffered just its second loss of the season, falling to 17-2 overall. The Wolverines are now 9-2 in the league. They fell a game and a half-game back of first-place Mary Washington in the CAC.
The win for the Spartans matched the school record for victory against a ranked team. The 2000-01 Spartans knocked off sixth-ranked Catholic 76-62 on Nov. 29, 2000, in Washington, D.C. The Cardinals would go on to win the 2001 Division III National Championship.
The victory was something that has been building. The youthful Spartans have been playing well in the last month of the season. Spartan head coach Matt Hunter was happy to see his guys get rewarded with a win.
"I thought we competed unbelievably hard and executed the game plan perfectly on the defensive end," Hunter said. "We did exactly what we wanted to do."
The Spartans were led by Ryan Beaver. The freshman came off the bench to drain a career-high 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting. All his attempts were from beyond the arc. He also cashed in 4-of-4 at the stripe and added three rebounds and a career-high four assists in the win. Fellow freshman Brad Wesner continued his hot play with a career-high 15 points, a career-high five rebounds and three assists. Wesner, who has reached double figures in five of his last six games, was 6-for-10 from the floor. He also went 2-for-2 from the stripe. Mike Mathews was the third Spartan in double figures with 13 points. He also had seven rebounds and a career-high four blocked shots. Freshman point guard Joey Feinberg dished out five assists, grabbed six rebounds and had two steals. Senior Matt McNeely added nine points.
York held Wesley to a season-low 48 points, 27.5 points below its season average. It is the Spartans' lowest point total allowed this year. Wesley shot a season-worst 29.3 percent, 17.6 percent below its season average. The Wolverines went just 1-for-15 from 3-point range (6.7 percent).
York finished the game shooting 43.4 percent from the floor, including a brisk 60 percent (12-for-20) in the second half. York converted 7-of-14 from 3-point range. That is just the second time this season York has been over 50 percent from distance in a game. The Spartans were also 9-for-11 from the foul line.
Hunter believes the Spartans have been building to this.
"We have focused all year, regardless of who we are playing, on the process of getting better day in and day out," said the second-year Spartan mentor. "We have had to make some major adjustments as the year has gone on and our team, although young, has done that very well. This game proved what we are capable of doing."
Hunter believes the win gives the Spartans a big boost.
"This win gives the guys confidence," Hunter said. "In the grand scheme of anything it doesn't count any more than any other game, but it certainly was nice to get a win and allow the guys to pay off some of the hard work they are doing."
Spartan women get back in win column: The York College women, meanwhile, put together a solid effort to get back on the winning side of the ledger.
The nationally ranked Spartans improved to 19-1 overall and 11-1 in the conference. Wesley fell to 4-16 overall and 1-10 in the league. York is ranked 10th in the d3hoops.com poll and No. 15 in the USA Today/Women's Basketball Coaches Association Coaches NCAA Division III Poll.
Kristen Haley poured in a season-high 24 points for York. The senior forward was 9-for-13 from the floor and 6-for-7 from the free throw line. Haley also had seven rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals. York Catholic High School graduate Brittany Hicks added her tenth double-double of the year with 17 points and 15 rebounds. Hicks was 8-for-10 from the floor.
Freshman Sam Hruz came off the bench to tally 10 second-half points. She was 4-for-5 from the floor. Aja Wallpher handed out 11 assists with just one turnover. The double-digit assist effort is the third of the year for Wallpher.
The Spartans return to action on Saturday when they host Marymount University in a key CAC contest. Tip time at Wolf Gym is set for 1 p.m. Marymount is 8-3 in CAC action.