Buffalo, NY - After leading 35-30 at halftime, the D'Youville Men's Basketball Team fell to the visiting Hilbert Hawks by the final score of 88-68 in the final game before break.
The two teams played a tight first half, with the two AMCC foes never more than 5 points apart on the score sheet. With 5:15 remaining, the Hawks opened up a 24-19 lead over the Spartans. Junior Jon Gemerek (Cheektowaga, NY/Depew) scored 2 layups to help bring the score to 29-29 all. To end the half, freshman Bayani Salinas (Antioch, CA/Antioch) and Steve Kunelius (Oswego, NY/Oswego) hit back-to-back threes to give D'Youville the 35-30 half-time lead.
Under 3 minutes into the beginning of the second half, it was 39 all in the College Center Gym. From that point on, the Hawks turned on the offense, opening up a 10 point lead . D'Youville battled back to be down by 2 at the 11:15 mark to trail 53-51. That would be the closest the Spartans would get to the Hawks as Hilbert showed why they came into the game undefeated, outscoring D'Youville 32-15 in the final 10 minutes of the game. The final was 88-68.
"The things we did to get the lead in the first half we failed to do in the second half," said fourth year Head Coach Earl Schunk.
"Our shot selection at key moments has to improve," Schunk continued.
Leading the way for the Spartans on offense was senior Julian Reed (Cheektowaga, NY/Union-Endicott). Reed scored 25 points to lead all scorers. Adding 7 rebounds, the captain of the Spartans led the team in rebounds as well.
Juniors Marcus Clarke (Olean, NY/Archbishop Walsh Academy) and Jon Gemerek each added 9 points. Clarke had 6 rebounds to go along with his 4 assists and 2 steals. Gemerek had 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.
Heading forward, Coach Schunk can see how much potential his team has and what they can achieve for the rest of this season.
"While it was disappointing to let one get away, we have shown we are competitive with the better teams in our league," said Schunk.
The next game for the D'Youville Men's Basketball Team comes against Houghton on Tuesday, December 30th at 6:00pm. The game is in the College Center Gymnasium.