Rochester, NY – The D'Youville men's basketball team opened up their 2015-16 season on the road against Nazareth and were defeated by the Golden Flyers by the final score of 91-81.
Zach Blask (Portville, NY/Portville) scored the first five baskets of the game for the Spartans, tying the game at 12-12 after just under 5 minutes of play. Following a made layup from freshman Juan Miguel Rosales (Guatemala City, Guatemala/Village School), D'Youville grabbed hold of a 19-17 lead before the Spartans would go scoreless for the next 5 minutes.
Freshman Jake Socha (Tonawanda, NY/Niagara Catholic) would get the team back on the board with his first collegiate bucket, cutting their deficit to 33-21. Marcus Clarke (Olean, NY/Archbishop Walsh Academy) found his scoring touch late in the first half but D'Youville would head into the half trailing the Golden Flyers 54-33.
The Spartans came out in the second half and began to chip away at Nazareth lead. Will VanAuken (Caledonia, NY/Caledonia-Mumford) and Jon Gemerek (Cheektowaga, NY/Depew) combined to score the first 6 points of the half to cut their deficit to 13. Both teams would go cold for 2 minutes but the Spartans would get back into the game with a Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden (Oneida, NY/Venron-Verona-Sherill) three-pointer and the team would trail 60-49 with 14:19 remaining in the game.
Clarke and Nate Sweetman (Johnstown, NY/Johnstown) would combine for 21 out of the final 32 D'Youville points in the final 13:13 of the game, but would fall to the Golden Flyers by the final score of 91-81.
With 2:15 remaining in the game, Sweetman's layup brought the Spartans within 10 points of the Nazareth lead, but the team would fall short in the end.
"It was good to get the season started against a good team with two All-East big men," said Head Coach Earl Schunk.
"Our young guys stepped up after understandably having first college game jitters in the first half," Schunk added.
Marcus Clarke would lead the team with 19 points in a team high 34 minutes. His 4 assists were also the most on the team. Nate Sweetman posted his first double-double of the season recording 15 points and a team high 10 rebounds. Zach Blask tied Sweetman with 15 points, second highest on the team for the game.
In his first collegiate game, Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden had 12 points, all from behind the arc. Eight different Spartans found the bottom of the net for D'Youville, with 4 in double-figures for the game. The four freshman combined for 25 points in the game.
Coach Schunk saw the team's opportunity to get back in the game, but the team wasn't able to get the momentum to bring the game close again.
"We needed to make one big shot in the final 5 minutes to get close enough to make them worry. Unfortunately we couldn't make that big shot and we couldn't quite get there," said Schunk.
Although the loss, Schunk said "I saw a lot of positives out there tonight."
The men will hit the court again tomorrow, Saturday November 14th at 1pm against Alfred State for day two of the Nazareth Tournament.