Men’s Basketball Takes Down First-Place Brandywine, 78–73

Penn State York Men’s Basketball huddles.
Penn State York Men’s Basketball huddles.

Penn State York Men's Basketball defeated first-place Penn State Brandywine, 78–73, at home on Tuesday, Feb. 6. The late-season result surely has important implications on seeding for the upcoming Pennsylvania State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) playoffs. Brandywine came into the game ranked fifth in the USCAA Division II Coaches Poll, while York sat at #10.

Five players scored in double-figures for York, absorbing a one-dimensional attack from Brandywine's Donte Whitfield, who led all scorers with 33. Reigning PSUAC Player of the Week Richard Grant (York, Pa. / Susquehannock) scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half, as York came back from an eight-point deficit.

After giving Christian Buser (Wrightsville, Pa. / Eastern York) the start on Senior Night, Penn State York controlled the first eight minutes of action, building a seven-point lead partway through the first half. Brandywine then used a 10–1 run to grab the lead, which it would slowly increase through the first five minutes of the second half.

Consecutive three-pointers from Larry Rascoe (Harrisburg, Pa. / Susquehanna Township) around the 13-minute mark gave York its first lead of the second half. Tied again at 60 points with 4:19 to play, Justin Luton (Baltimore, Md. / Newtown) hit two free throws to give York a lead it wouldn't relinquish. Starting with those two from Luton, York hit 13–14 foul shots to close out the game and keep Brandywine at bay. York shot 17–23 from the line for the game.

Grant's 18 led Penn State York's attack, as he also tallied a team-high 11 rebounds and 4 assists. Luton scored 15 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and had 3 assists, while Derrick Hoffman (Manchester, Pa. / Northeastern) recorded 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks in just 14 minutes off the bench as York's big men went to work.

Rascoe added 4 rebounds and 3 assists to his 15 points, while usual-starter Khalil White (Cheltenham, Pa. / Cheltenham) scored 14 points and dished out 4 assists in 31 minutes as a reserve.

Penn State York now stands at 15–7 overall, and picks up a key PSUAC win to improve to 11–4 in the conference. Fourth-place York gained a bit of breathing room over fifth-place Penn State Lehigh Valley as the teams jockey for playoff seeding. With the three teams in front of them each owning three losses, the final seeds are still wide open.

Penn State York closes out the regular season at Penn State Mont Alto Friday, Feb. 9 at 8 p.m.