Penn State York men fall in semifinals at national basketball tournament

Matt Rotonda

Two decisive runs by Johnson & Wales ended Penn State York’s hopes for a national basketball title on Wednesday afternoon.

Johnson & Wales used a 16-0 first-half run to take a 29-13 lead.

Coach Matt Rotonda’s Penn State York crew eventually battled back to pull within 64-61 with less than three minutes left in the contest when Johnson & Wales went on a 13-0 surge to put the game out of reach.

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PSY would eventually suffer an 81-69 loss in a semifinal contest at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Division II Tournament at Virginia State in Petersburg, Virginia.

The loss dropped the Penn State University Athletic Conference champions to 26-6. Johnson & Wales, from North Carolina, improved to 17-11. Johnson & Wales also advances to the USCAA Division II championship contest.

Two former York-Adams high school standouts carried PSY in its failed comeback bid.

New Oxford High School graduate Deriq Brown, a 6-5 sophomore, poured in 25 points on 10 for 19 shooting. Northeastern grad Michael Coleman, a 6-4 senior, added 22 points, five rebounds and three steals.

John John Gillespie added 12 points and five assists for the Yorkers.

PSY didn’t have an answer for  Anthoney Ray, who erupted for 35 points for Johnson & Wales.

The Yorkers had trouble competing with Johnson & Wales’ inside game. PSY got outrebounded, 48-32, and were outscored 40-28 in the paint and 12-4 in second-chance points.

The foul line also proved pivotal. Johnson & Wales was 19 for 20 (95%) at the charity stripe, while PSY was 11 for 18 (61%).

PSY did have an edge in assists (13-7) and points off turnovers (24-16) but it wasn't enough for the Yorkers to pull out the win.

Reach Steve Heiser at or on Twitter at @ydsports.