Men’s Basketball Team Falls to Spartans
By Matt Hutcheon, Staff Writer
The Gettysburg College men’s basketball team lost 83-59 to York College Saturday.
The Spartans got off to a hot start early in the game, opening with a 17-2 lead in the first five minutes. York College scored seven points before first year center Avery Close’s lay-up lit up Gettysburg’s side of the board.
The Bullets closed the 17-2 point gap to 17-5 by the midpoint of the first half, but the Spartans rallied back with a run of their own, and 12 minutes later, York’s lead escalated to 25 points.The Bullets returned to fight with a six-point run, but, again, the Spartans retaliated. The 10-point run to follow made the score 52-20 at the end of the first half.
While Gettysburg did not come out victorious in the end, the Bullets played hard in the second half.
At times, it looked like the Bullets could rally themselves back into the convention, but the sharp shooting of the Spartans prevailed.
The Bullets won the half by a score of 39-31 and had a 12-3 run midway through, yet the closest the Bullets would get to the Spartans’ score would be 74-55 with just under five minutes left in the game.
The deciding factor to the game was three-point shooting. It was the strength of the Spartans from beyond the arc, where they made thirteen shots, which propelled them to victory. In contrast, the Bullets were only able to convert on two three pointers throughout the game.
The Spartans also had 24 assists on 43 total field goals, while the Bullets only had 15 assists on 26 total field goals.
The Bullets turned the ball over 20 times, while the Spartans only transitioned 15 times.
The Spartans capitalized on the turnovers by the Bullets, as they converted them into 22 points.
Sophomore guard Nick Lord led Gettysburg in scoring with 14 points, and senior forward Matt England followed second with a total of 10. Sophomore guard Joey Carroll added a career-high eight points in the game.
The Bullets were without both of their captains: senior Cameron Stewart and junior Matt Palacio. The absence of the front leaders was a huge component in the game against York College. The Bullets team has 13 underclassmen on their 18-man roster this season, which mismatched them against a much more experienced and older York College team.
This is not to say the underclassmen did not put up a good fight, however.
First-year big man Avery Close showed composure in the game despite its ups and downs with a contribution of six points and six rebounds.
“First years have a lot to learn like any young players have to do coming into an organization,” said Stewart in a preseason interview with Gettysburg College Athletics. “but a lot of them are athletic and have great basketball knowledge, which has helped them move up the ranks of the team, and could potentially earn them more playing time as the season progresses.”
Not having Stewart or Palacio on the floor allowed for a lot of younger players to earn valuable experience. Fourteen Bullets players participated in the game on Saturday, many of which were underclassmen that received valuable minutes in getting them familiar with the collegiate experience.
The offense that Gettysburg runs requires a lot of practice and experience before it can be run effectively. It relies heavily on interpreting the flow of the game as it progresses, and it is difficult to learn quickly. So, the underclassmen need as much practice as possible.
“[The offense] provides us with a very complicated, but effective offense strategy,” said Palacio in the preseason interview.
The Bullets’ next game will be against Centennial Conference rival Johns Hopkins Thursday, November 30 at 7:00 p.m. on the Blue Jays’ home court in Baltimore, Maryland.