Penn State York’s men’s basketball team won the Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) championship Feb. 18, to become the first men’s basketball team in the history of the campus to claim the title. The team won a nail-biter that came down to the last second, 1.2 seconds to be exact, in the 80-79 win over Penn State Beaver. Along with the championship, the team has accepted a bid to the 2013 United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National Basketball Tournament, which will begin Feb. 26 in Uniontown, Pa.
“Winning the PSUAC Men's Basketball championship for the first time in school history is a tremendous accomplishment for this group of young men," said Parrish Petry, head men’s basketball coach at York. “They have worked hard all year on improving as a unit and becoming a team that trusts one another and pulls together in the same direction to achieve a common goal,” he said. “After winning the Southern division the past four years and being looked upon as one of the top teams in the conference, it feels really good to finally stand alone as conference champions.”
York led 37-28 at halftime, largely behind the 3-point shooting of Logan Steckel, of York, Pa. Six of his seven 3-point shots came in the first half. The host team, Beaver, came back in the second half, tying the score at 62 with seven minutes left. Neither team was able to take a lead greater than five points during the rest of the game. The score was tied three more times before Beaver's Robert Agurs, of Pittsburgh, hit a pair of free throws with 17 seconds left to tie the score at 79-79.
The York Lions missed a pair of shots at the other end, but Ben Todd, of Hereford, Md., grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled with 1.2 seconds left, setting up his winning free throw. Todd sank a free throw with 1.2 seconds left in the game, the go-ahead score that gave Penn State York the PSUAC men's basketball championship.
Steckel led York with 28 points on 7-of-9 shooting from 3-point range and 5-of-6 free-throw shooting. All five of his free throws came in the second half, and his only second-half field goal was a 3-pointer. He was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
Todd (10 points, 11 rebounds) and Xavier Smith, of Bel Air, Md.; (13, 11) each posted a double-double for Penn State York, which out-rebounded Beaver 39-27. Todd's total helped York’s bench outscore Beaver's bench 19-3.
Agurs led Beaver with 26 points; Mike Martin, of Dublin, Ohio, added 19; and Nick Miller, of Beaver Falls, Pa., scored 17.