YORK – Michael Tolbert (SR/Apopka, Fla.) scored a team-high 29 points helping York escape the upset-minded Tabor College Bluejays 95-93 in overtime. Tolbert went on his own run early in the second half to give the Panthers some life. With just four minutes gone in the second half, he himself went on an 11-2 run to put York up 53-44. York maintained a four-possession lead over the next seven minutes of play but could never put the game away. After missing just one free throw in the first half, the Panthers missed seven opportunities in the second.
With less than ten minutes remaining in the game the Bluejays went on their own run, a 16-4 run, that lasted over five minutes. That run put the Bluejays within one point at 74-69. With just under three minutes remaining the Bluejays took their first lead of the second period with a three-point basket making it 77-76. Another three by Tyler Zinn put the Bluejays up by four with just over one minute remaining.
DeAnte Barnes (SR/Rockford, Ill.) and Eric Lenear (JR/Bellevue, Neb.) were clutch at the end of regulation as they both hit their free throws to tie the game at 80. Tabor had a last-second opportunity but the shot came up short, forcing overtime.
Kafani Williams (SR/Pembroke, N.H.) got York off on the right foot in the extra frame as he converted on the old-fashioned three-point play. However, the Panthers gave one up on the other end as the game was once again tied at 83. Lenear then hit a big three-pointer and a layup to put York up 88-83. Just when York seemed to pull away Tyler Zinn had another thing to say as he tied the game once again at 90 with a long-contested three, giving him 30 on the night. After two missed free throws the Bluejays went on top, this time with a three by Leon Marcikic, to lead 93-90.
Tyreece Berry (JR/Muskogee, Okla.) took the game over on the next possession as he knocked down a game-tying three with 40 seconds remaining. Zinn tried to answer back with 21 seconds but didn’t convert this time. Berry brought the ball up the court and as he started his drive to the right corner he was fouled with seven seconds remaining. He made both of his free throws to put York up 95-93.
With a last-second opportunity in Zinn’s hands, Lenear blocked it as time expired to give York their first win in four tries.
Behind Tolbert’s 29 points, Lenear added 28 himself. Kafani Williams added 14 points and Berry scored 12 points along with a team-high six assists.
York has seven days off as they are back in action on February 4 as they play Kansas Wesleyan on the road.