Greensburg, PA – The D'Youville men's basketball team began the road portion of their conference schedule on Saturday afternoon, facing off against Pitt.-Greensburg and lost to the host Bobcats by the final score of 101-95.
Greensburg grabbed an early 10-6 lead in the game with just under 4 minutes elapsed in the game. Sophomore Zach Blask (Portville, NY/Portville) brought the game to within a point after drilling a three-pointer, making the game 12-11 Greensburg. Marcus Clarke (Olean, NY/Archbishop Walsh Academy) gave D'Youville the lead at 15-14 with 13:57 remaining in the first half. The two teams would battle back-and-forth, trading baskets throughout the first half.
The Bobcats held a 30-23 lead in the game with 9:37 remaining in the first half. D'Youville would close the gap to 3 after a Clarke free throw, and then a jumper and three-pointer from Jake Socha (Tonawanda, NY/Niagara Catholic) kept the game to within 3 after Greensburg tried to pull away. Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden (Oneida, NY/Vernon-Verona-Sherrill) then gave the lead to the Spartans following a three-pointer and 2 made free throws.
Juan Miguel Rosales (Guatemala City, Guatemala/Village School) made a jump shot with 1:40 to go in the first and gave D'Youville the lead at 48-39. Jon Gemerek (Cheektowaga, NY/Depew) made a layup and gave the Spartans their largest lead of the half at 50-39, but Greensburg would score a layup of their own before the half ended. D'Youville would head into the locker room at half up on the Bobcats 50-41.
The Spartan offense picked up in the second half where they left off in the first, leading by 13 points thanks to Gemerek converting an and-one opportunity. Back-to-back three-pointers from Clarke and Nate Sweetman (Johnstown, NY/Johnstown) gave D'Youville a 15 point lead with 16:29 to go in the game. After Sweetman's three, D'Youville wouldn't score for the next 3:12 and the Bobcats would capitalize to close the gap to 5 points.
D'Youville would hold off Greensburg for as long as they could and regained a 6 points lead following a VanDuluitgaarden three-pointer. With 8:36 to go in the game, the Bobcats completed their comeback and took 76-74 lead over the Spartans. Will VanAuken (Caledonia, NY/Caledonia-Mumford) tied the game at 76 but Greensburg would take over the game and lead 84-78 with 7:18 to go.
The Spartans closed the gap to within 1 point at 94-93 with 1:05 left, but the Bobcats would hit 7 of 8 free throws down the stretch to ice the game and they would win the game by the final score of 101-95.
"We played a great first half and came out strong in the second half," said Head Coach Earl Schunk. "We had a 5 minute stretch where we stopped being aggressive and they took full advantage," Schunk continued.
Freshman Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden led the team in scoring with 22 points off the bench. Jeremy added 8 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 assists and 2 steals as he continues to impress in his first season as a Spartan. Jake Socha nearly missed a nearly double-double, scoring 17 points and grabbing 9 rebounds. Jon Gemerek closed in on history by scoring 16 points in the game and Nate Sweetman scored 8 points with 7 rebounds and 4 assists.
Scoring back in double-figures was sophomore Zach Blask, who had 13 in the game. Zach collected 10 rebounds and had his first double-double of the season. Steve Kunelius (Oswego, NY/Oswego) added 3 points. All 9 players that saw time for the Spartans recorded at least 2 rebounds and 1 rebound. Four D'Youville players were in double-figures in scoring.
Coach Schunk knows that his team can take a lot from this game, especially knowing that they can hang with the toughest teams in their conference.
"Considering we played that well against arguably the best team in the league on their court, we can take a lot of good things from this game," said Schunk.
The men will have a week off before their next game on Saturday, December 12th at 1pm at La Roche.