YORK – The York College Panthers struggled offensively in the first half Tuesday night as they hosted 16th ranked Tabor College. The Panthers shot just 26% from the field, and only found themselves down by two points, 38-36, despite the Bluejays shooting 50% from the field.
Head Coach Tree Burks said, “we were not hitting any shots in the first half, from the inside or the outside, and that was a recipe for disaster. I told the guys at half that we easily could have been down by 15, but we were only down two. We had to trust our system and keep crashing the boards.”
Burks was right on with his halftime assessment as the Panthers shot 50% from the field in the second half and had 29 offensive rebounds in the game. With the two statistical categories going in their favor they saw a two-point deficit turn into a 17-point advantage.
York was out-rebounded in their loss on Saturday to Oklahoma Wesleyan 49-31 and knew that had to change. York jumped all over the boards Tuesday night with a plus 24 advantage, plus 20 on the offensive boards.
“Even with Tabor shooting a high percentage, our guys knew they could control the game if we crashed the basket on every attempt. The second half we found our rhythm and we did what we needed to do,” said Burks.
York scored 25 second chance points to just eight by the Bluejays.
Michael Johnson (SR/Orlando, Fla) led all scorers with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Aaron Munday-Rashid (SO/Melbourne, Australia) followed up with 14 points, while Wayne Johnson, Jr. (JR/Pittsburg, Calif) finished with 11. Mark Dean (SR/Denver, Colo) had another double-double for the Panthers with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Even though Tabor shot a high percentage from the field they struggled immensely from the free throw line only converting 3-of-18 attempts.
York improves to 5-3 on the season and will travel to Ottawa, Kansas next Wednesday for a 8:00 p.m. tip-off.