YORK, Pa. – The Salisbury University men's basketball team trailed through much of regulation at York College of Pennsylvania on Saturday afternoon, but came back in the closing moments to force overtime, ultimately falling, 76-68, in Capital Athletic Conference action.
The Spartans took an early six-point lead with a 12-6 run to open the contest, but out of the first media timeout of the day, senior Rocky Harris buried a three-pointer off an assist from junior Justin Witmer to cut the lead to three. Each team's defense would clamp down from there, as the only bucket over the next three minutes was a York three from Matt Scamuffo.
The Spartans (9-9, 5-6 CAC) put together a 9-2 run to stretch their lead to 10 points, their largest of regulation.
Senior Adrien Straughn got a clean look at a three-pointer from the left corner, burying the effort to get the lead to five, 21-16, with three and a half minutes to play in the first half. Straughn scored 11 points in the game for the Gulls, one of three in double figures.
Sophomore Jordan Brooks connected on a layup in transition off a feed from Chad Barcikowski, who threaded a pass through the defense with just 30 seconds left in the period, remaining within five as the game went to the break.
Out of the half, Salisbury got the lead down to one point in just five minutes with Jeter scoring six early second-half points, hitting from the left side, cutting the York lead to 31-30.
The teams traded three-pointers, with Harris connecting from the top of the key before the Spartans pushed the lead back to eight points when Brad Wesner's three from the corner rattled around and dropped before Scamuffo hit in the paint for a 43-35 lead.
Senior Justin May drove to the lane to quickly get the lead back down to five, converting on the layup and a foul for a three-point play at the midway point of the second half.
The Spartans would build the lead back to six and seven points on multiple occassions in the second half, but the Gulls (14-4, 7-4 CAC) would not allow them to pull away, having an answer each time. When the edge grew to seven with just over seven minutes left, Harris buried a three from the right wing, cutting the score to 46-42. Harris led the Sea Gulls with 17 points on the day, hitting 4-of-8 from outside.
Another Harris three, from the left side, got the lead down to three with five minutes to play.
The Sea Gulls got four free-throw tries on one late possession, thanks to Jeter's offensive rebound. Harris hit one free throw, and senior Kyle Savercool knocked down a pair to tie the game at 48-48 with four minutes to go.
Strong Salisbury defense got a quick turnover at the other end, one of 23 Spartan miscues in the game, and Savercool gave Salisbury its first lead of the second half, 50-48, with two more free throws. Salisbury hit 81 percent from the charity stripe in the game.
After forcing another Spartan turnover, the Gulls pushed the lead to two possessions, when Brooks drove to the right side of the lane, creating separation, and banking in the runner.
York tied the game at 52-52 with 1:45 left on Dalton Myers' fade away from the left side. A quick Salisbury turnover gave the Spartans a chance to retake the lead, but York missed the front end of two one-and-one free throw chances in the final 90 seconds of play. The game remained tied until Brooks stole the ball near midcourt and drove to the basket with 21 seconds left, drawing a foul. He calmly hit both free throws for a 54-52 lead.
The Spartans would force overtime when Myers got into the paint and posted up for a contested lay in to tie the game with under 10 seconds left.
In the overtime period, the Sea Gulls could only do so much to try to overcome Scamuffo, who found the hot hand in the extra five minutes, scoring 13 points in overtime, including three three-pointers, as the Spartans outscored the Gulls 22-14 in the added period.
Savercool and Brooks each hit threes in the overtime to try to keep the Gulls in the game, but there was not enough scoring to counter Scamuffo, as he finished with a game-high 24 to lead the Spartans, while Myers finished with 20 to go with eight rebounds and seven assists.
Savercool finished with a double-double for the Gulls, scoring 12 and pulling down 11 rebounds, while Brooks added nine points off the bench.
Salisbury closes out a three-game road stretch with an 8 p.m., tipoff at Penn State University-Harrisburg on Monday, February 1.