Middletown, PA – 24 hours after the originally scheduled tip-off, Penn State Harrisburg Men's Basketball nearly had a season defining moment Thursday throwing everything they had at #7 York. Foul trouble and stellar Free-Throw shooting by the Spartans would ultimately be the difference maker as the Lions fell short 64-75 in the teams first ever White-Out game supporting Penn State Harrisburg Benefiting THON.
Penn State Harrisburg 64 vs. York 75
York Starters: Bady, Wagner, Scamuffo, Myers, Reich
Penn State Harrisburg: (6-16, 2-13)
York: (20-2, 13-2)
Inside The Stats:
Field Goals: Penn State Harrisburg (24-58) vs. York (21-50)
Assists: Harrisburg (9) vs. York (9)
Turnovers: Harrisburg (22) vs. York (22)
Rebounds: Harrisburg (32) vs. York (36)
How it Happened: The game originally scheduled for Wednesday was postponed until Thursday because of inclement weather in Central Pennsylvania. The mind set of having to wait an extra day to play, may have been a factor in the games unusual start.
Neither team found a rhythm or momentum in the first several minutes of the game, however the Lions would hear the whistle called against them 8 times by the time the game clock hit 13:00 remaining. Despite the early foul trouble, Penn State Harrisburg would only trail the #7 team in the country by 4, 6-10.
York would attempt to seize the opportunity and spread the ball around growing their lead to 14 with 9:42 left in the first half. The Lions would go on a quick 6-0 run, only to be held in check by the Spartans attack. With 7:59 left until halftime, the Spartans once again led 27-14.
The Lions would cut back into the lead shortly after and everything looked to be going in favor of the blue and white until Student-Athlete of the Week Kahlil Williams would land awkwardly on a play, forcing him off the court with 5 minutes left in the first. Williams unfortunately would not return to the game. He would have a team leading 8 points at the time. Despite not having Williams, the fight did not stop, and the deficit would only be 5 at halftime 33-38.
The second half began with neither team able to pull away from the other. With just under 14 minutes, the Nittany Lions would finally look to make their mark and pulled within 1, 45-46 on the strong play of Brandon Coleman and Anthony Bennett Jr. The team would keep York in their sights and within 3 until the 8-minute mark when their early foul trouble would catch back up with them.
York would shoot an exceptional 25-27 from the Free-Throw line, making any opportunity to capitalize difficult for Harrisburg. With 3 minutes remaining, the Lions were still well within reach down 6 and the crowd on their side. The team would make every effort to take advantage however, it was York that would take advantage of the foul trouble that would hinder Haneef Nelson, Chris Bing and Austin Chimuma late in the game.
With the foul issues of the Lions and the Free-Throw ability of the Spartans, the comeback would be too daunting, and York would eventually extend its lead to 11; escaping Middletown still in the top position of the Capital Athletic Conference 64-75.
Despite a close loss, there was still so much to celebrate. Thursday's game went to support Penn State Harrisburg Benefiting THON and through the charitable efforts of those at the game, the organization raised important funds towards their goal to help fight childhood cancer.
Impact Performance: Brandon Coleman – 15 Points, 2 Assists, 1 Steal