Hamburg, NY – The D'Youville men's basketball played their final game before the winter break on Monday evening and lost to the Hilbert Hawks by the final score of 86-73.
D'Youville took an early 8-5 lead three minutes into the game following a Marcus Clarke (Olean, NY/Archbishop Walsh Academy) layup. The Spartans would hold onto their lead but Hilbert would tie the game up at 14-14 with 11:36 remaining in the first half. The Hawks would take an 8 point lead with 6:49 to go in the first but continue to extend their lead as the half went on.
Down by 10 with 3:41 to go, D'Youville's offense started rolling again. Juan Miguel Rosales (Guatemala City, Guatemala/Village School) scored 3 points along with layups from Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden (Oneida, NY/Vernon-Verona-Sherill) and Jon Gemerek (Cheektowaga, NY/Depew), cutting the deficit to 40-35. Hilbert would push their lead back out to 7 to end the half, leading the Spartans 45-38.
The Hawks would score two early baskets and take an 11 point lead to begin the second half. However, Jake Socha (Tonawanda, NY/Niagara Catholic), Nate Sweetman (Johnstown, NY/Johnstown) and Clarke would score the first 11 points for D'Youville in the half and close the Hawk lead to 2. Hilbert would then score 6 unanswered points, taking a 57-49 lead with 14:48 to go in the game.
The Spartans again wouldn't quit as they came back to within two at 59-57 due to 8 consecutive points from VanDuluitgaarden. On offense, D'Youville would begin to struggle following a 63-61 deficit with 10:28 to go in the half. Hilbert would extend their lead to 11 with roughly 9 minutes to go in the game and then 12 with 2:16 to go. The Hawks would take their lead to the end, winning the game 86-73.
"We were inconsistent throughout the game and it cost us at key moments," said Head Coach Earl Schunk."Give Hilbert credit, they made us pay for our mistakes."
D'Youville had 5 players in double-figures, with Juan Miguel Rosales and Jon Gemerek leading the team with 13 points each. Freshmen Jake Socha and Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden each had 12 points, with Socha leading the team with 8 rebounds. Three different players had 2 assists and Matt Insley (Wellsville, NY/Wellsville) leading the team with 3.
Sophomore Bayani Salinas (Antioch, CA/Antioch) had 3 steals, 2 assists, 2 points and 2 rebounds in the game. Rosales added 6 rebounds off the bench. Nate Sweetman had 10 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals as he continues to contribute in all areas of the game.
Following the team's winter break, Coach Schunk knows that the team is in good shape when their conference schedule comes into full swing.
"The good news about this is game and the entire first semester is that we have seen the best teams in our conference and we know that we can compete with them," said Schunk. "If we can clean a few things up, we will be fine."
The men will play an exhibition game against Western University of Ontario on Saturday, January 2nd at 1pm. The first conference game in the new year is at home against Medaille on Wednesday, January 6th at 6pm.