With a victory on Saturday afternoon, the men’s basketball team extended their home winning streak to 14 games in what was, at times, an uncomfortably close game against Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) opponents, the York College of Pennsylvania Spartans.
The game got off to a strong start with a 12-0 run by the Seahawks in the first four minutes, but by halftime the team had given up a 17 point lead and went to the locker room with a tied score, and nervous fans. “We kind of slacked off a little bit,” said senior forward Calvin Wise. The Seahawks posted a strong second half though, and put the Spartans away with a final score of 88-79.
It was a memorable game for Wise, as he scored his 1000th career point early in the game. One of only two seniors on the team, Wise was head coach Chris Harney’s first recruit four seasons ago, long before the team was the CAC powerhouse that it is today. “When I first talked to Harney, he said that he was building something special here. I believed in that. I came here, and I stuck with it for four years”
Since then, Wise has seen the program transformed through his efforts, and those of his teammates around him. “I’ve been blessed to have very talented players around me, to help build this program,” Wise said. “I can always look back and say ‘We started that. We built something special,’ and that’s something that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.”
“I can’t say enough about him,” said Harney. “He is without a doubt the heart of our team … He is one of the best captains I’ve ever had. He’s a great leader.”
Another Seahawk in the spotlight this week is junior guard Camontae Griffin, who earned CAC player of the week honors for the second time this season. He continues to lead the team in playing time and scoring, averaging 20.1 points per game. “This is one of the best teams I’ve been a part of … I’m just having fun. I’m just going along for the ride with these guys,” said Griffin.
Inconsistent play has occasionally plagued the team during an otherwise spectacular 18-4 season. There have been a lot of close games that the team feels should have been more definitive wins. “We get up… then we get sloppy, and we allow teams to come back. We need to learn how to put teams away early,” said senior center Alex Irmer.
Talking about his team’s inconsistency in the York game, Harney said, “We’re a young team, we do very young things. Everything’s a teachable moment, and even though we won the game, there were a lot of teachable moments in this game.”
“We are a young team,” Wise reiterated. “People forget that. It’s a learning process.”
One game that the team would surely like to have back, was against first ranked CAC rival Wesley College on Jan 24. The Seahawks held a 12 point lead at halftime, but ended up losing the game by just four points. Griffin said, “When we lost to them it was just tough, because we were up to them the whole game, and the last 10 minutes we just kind of fell apart.”
The Seahawk’s only remaining home game, on Feb 21 at 4:00 p.m., is against Wesley, and will likely determine the first seed for the CAC playoffs, which will send the winner to this year’s NCAA tournament.
There are still two more away games before the Seahawks return home again. The team as a whole stressed that they need to take the rest of the season one game at a time, but it was hard not to look forward to the Wesley game. “They’re definitely rivals,” Griffin said.
Wise said, “We have the best fans in the CAC, possibly in the country, they come every game and support us wholeheartedly and they’re the X factor…We just can’t wait to get [Wesley] here in our house, to meet our fans, and just take them out. We’re not going to lose to them again.”