ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The York College men's basketball team won a close game against the University of Rochester, 80-76, on Saturday evening to open up the University of Rochester/Holiday Inn Airport Classic Tournament.
The first half started with back-and-forth scores; as the highest score difference was just four points during the first 10 minutes, occurring three separate times in favor of York. With nine minutes remaining in the half, the Cardinals looked to be breaking away, as York went on a 13-4 run over the span of four minutes, led by Ryan St. John's two good three-pointers.
With York leading 32-19 and 5:08 remaining in the half, the Yellowjackets turned their game around, and went on a run of their own. Rochester outscored York 19-7, including a Sam Borst-Smith 3-pointer with a second left on the clock to cut the Cardinal lead to just one point, going into the half with a 39-38 score.
Ryan St. John led the half with 16 points, including four three-pointers for the Cardinals while Borst-Smith led the Yellowjackets with 10 points.
The second half was the Omar St. John show, as he led the Cardinals to victory. But, the victory didn't come easy, as the Yellowjackets and the Cardinals had another competitive half. The two teams swapped the lead seven different times in the half's first nine minutes of play, bringing the score to 54-53 with Rochester in the lead with 11:07 remaining in the game.
It looked like Rochester was going to start running away with the game, thanks to a short 8-0 run bringing their lead up to 62-53 with 8:45 left, the highest score difference in the half. The Cardinals didn't give up however, as they eventually tied the game at 66-66, took a lead, and kept that lead until 34 seconds remained on the clock, when the Yellowjackets' Kevin Sheehy made a three-pointer and gave Rochester a 76-75 lead.
However, Omar St. John turned up the intensity and scored the game's final five points. After the Sheehy three, St. John banked in a clutch three-pointer to give York back the lead. Rochester was stopped on its next possession, and after a Cardinal rebound, Omar St. John was fouled. He made both free throws to seal the victory.
Omar St. John ended the game with 36 points, including 27 in the second half alone, and 10 rebounds. It's been an impressive week for the Preseason All-American. On Tuesday, he scored 46 points, which tied a school record. He's averaging 41 points over his last two games and 27.8 for the season.
Ryan St. John finished with 19 points, while Cyril Reid added 11. Jaron Williams pulled down ten boards and Du'Quan Lawson added seven assists.
The glaring difference between the two teams was the amount of turnovers each team had, as the Yellowjackets gave the ball away 13 times compared to York's 4. York took advantage of the Rochester mistakes, scoring 16 points off of their turnovers.
York (3-1) will be back in action tomorrow when they face Eastern Connecticut State in the championship game at 3:00 pm. Rochester (3-1) will play in the consolation game against Stevenson University. You can watch, listen, or follow along with tomorrow's game by following the links on the York gameday coverage page.