Published Date Written by Daniel Walmer
In a matchup that has all the makings of a soon-to-be Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) rivalry, Penn State Harrisburg made the short trip down Interstate 83 and defeated York, 70-65 on Wednesday, Dec. 4 in York.
After being handled by the Spartans at home exactly 51 weeks earlier, the Blue & White returned the favor by earning an historic win at Charles Wolf Gymnasium: Its first ever in the CAC, its new league this season.
Penn State Harrisburg (3-4, 1-1 in the CAC) was led by do-it-all senior captain Will Doyle and junior Alberto De Los Santos. Doyle scored 15 points, dished out a game-high five assists and corralled four rebounds while De Los Santos made his first start of the season a strong one, netting 13 points and grabbing a team-high five boards.
The Lions shot well from distance in the early going, with De Los Santos, Doyle and freshman point guard Marquese Daniels connecting from beyond the arc on three of the team’s first four field goals.
After trading the advantage six times in the game’s first 10 minutes, the Spartans (0-3, 1-6) took their largest lead of the night when Dalton Myers hit a 3-ball to put York up 21-17 with 8:12 remaining in the first half.
Lion sophomore Jamaal Dubose answered with a 3-pointer of his own on Penn State Harrisburg’s next possession to help spark a pivotal 11-3 Lions run over the next 3:46.
Penn State Harrisburg cranked it up on defense and forced four turnovers during the stretch while adding layups from Daniels and freshman Winton Lyle, as well as a hard-fought 3-point play from senior captain Kenny Stone.
Another Stone layup gave the Blue & White its largest lead of the half at 37-27 with 1:34 left in the first.
York made a mini-run and drew within 6 points early in the second half but the Lions had an answer. Doyle responded with another three and junior Joey Farthing, Stone and De Los Santos added more points in the paint to increase the Lions’ advantage to 46-34 with 14:41 remaining.
Kevin Icker preserved Penn State Harrisburg’s double-digit lead with a layup off a pretty pass from Doyle at the 7:34 mark but the Spartans started to chip away over the next 2:30 and threatened for the first time in the second half when a pair of Brad Wesner foul shots cut the deficit to 6 points with 5:07 left to play.
After five straight Doyle points slowed the York push, the Spartans were forced to change their strategy, opting to foul and make the Lions convert free throws down the stretch. They were up to the task.
Despite shooting just 30 percent from the field, Doyle continued his strong all-around play and was the driving force behind the victory. In addition to his point, assist and rebound totals, he swiped a game-high three steals while going 6-7 from the foul line.
De Los Santos was 6-6 from the stripe and kept his free throw shooting percentage perfect on the season.
As a team, Penn State Harrisburg shot 75 percent (21-28) from the foul line compared to just 58.6 percent (17-29) by the Spartans. The Lions forced 19 turnovers and scored 19 tallies off of them.
St. Mary’s 67, Lions 60
Doyle scored a team-high 20 points as Penn State Harrisburg fell to 12th-ranked St. Mary’s on Saturday, Dec. 7 in Middletown.
Jaret Deibler added 9 points for the Lions.
St. Mary’s (4-1, 1-0) jumped to a 32-19 lead at halftime and held off a comeback bid by the Lions.
The Seahawks got balanced scoring from its lineup. Brendan McFall led the team with 15 points, while Donn Hill added 13 and Nick LaGuerre added 12.