The men’s basketball team under head coach Delton Deal grabbed the nation’s headlines yesterday with the Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. For the first time in more than 12 years, York snapped a long drought, as the Panthers were last ranked on Jan. 16, 2001 (No. 19). This week they garnered 108 votes and catapulted to No. 22 in the NAIA Div. II poll.
As was quoted in the online article: “With a 7-1 record in their last eight games, the Panthers have put themselves tied for the top spot in the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference standings.”
However, that was before last night’s match-up in the Freeman Center with perennial powerhouse Bellevue University who were ranked as high as No. 13 this season. In a close contested game that had the Bruins up 11-4 in the opening minutes, York took the lead at the 8:58 mark on a Dylan Brewer three-pointer and maintained that lead aside from two minutes in the second half.
The Bruins tied the game at 64 with seven minutes to play in the contest and were within two, 69-71 at the 4:30 mark. York went on a 10-1 scoring spree that gave the Panthers what seemed a comfortable 11-point lead with just over two minutes to go. Bellevue had other plans, however, and came back to within three with nine seconds left. The Bruins then fouled Amen Osayandi on the inbounds play, sending the 6’8” junior forward to the line. Osayandi, a 36% free throw shooter on the season, drained them both taking the lead back to 5. The Bruins weren’t able to score again and the final score was York 90, Bellevue 82.
Both teams shot 53% from the floor, but York had the advantage at the line shooting 83% (20/24) to the Bruins’ 65%. York had four players in double digits with Brewer leading all scorers at 22, followed closely by Marcus Johnson with 21. Other Panthers scoring were Thadd Varmall (11), Heyvis Jackson (10), Andre Vaughn (9), Desmond Strickland (7), Reggie Johnson (4), Amen Osayandi (4), and Mike Buffalo (2).
York is now atop the conference at 7-1, 17-4 overall. They take on conference opponent Waldorf College at home this Friday before going on the road next week. Go Panthers!
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