Buffalo, NY – The D'Youville men's basketball team earned their second conference win of the season on Saturday afternoon by defeating the Mount Aloysius Mounties by the final score of 79-73.
Freshman Jake Socha (Tonawanda, NY/Niagara-Wheatfield) was an early offensive force, scoring 5 of the team's first 7 points. Mount Aloysius led 8-7 just under 5 minutes of play in the first half, and would then go on a 12-1 scoring run over the next several minutes, making their lead 22-8.
The Spartans would get their offense going once again to score 10 unanswered points and trailed 22-18 with 8:39 to go in the half. The Mounties would extend their lead back to 30-23 just 3 minutes later, but D'Youville would again go on a run. The team closed the game to 2 points and took the lead for the first time with 1:33 left in the half thanks to 6 consecutive points from Juan Miguel Rosales (Guatemala City, Guatemala/Village School).
With under a minute remaining in the first 20 minutes of play, freshman Will VanAuken (Caledonia, NY/Caledonia-Mumford) hit 4 free throws to give the team a 41-38 lead. With 0:04 seconds left in the half, Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden (Oneida, NY/Vernon-Verona-Sherrill) came up with a steal and Jon Gemerek (Cheektowaga, NY/Depew) beat the buzzer to give the Spartans a 43-38 lead going into the half.
Mount Aloysius began the second half on an 8-0 scoring run to retake the lead at 46-43. The Spartans tied the game at 48 and 50, but the Mounties would push their lead to 6 with 11:45 to go in the game. Senior Conor Gallivan (Elma, NY/Iroquois) tied the game at 59 with a layup and made free-throw. D'Youville would then take a 2 point lead their next trip down the court due to two made free-throws from Steve Kunelius (Oswego, NY/Oswego).
D'Youville surrendered the lead against with 6:55 to go in the game at 68-66, but Zach Blask (Portville, NY/Portville) drilled a three-pointer, giving the team a 69-68 lead. On their next trip down the court, Bayani Salinas (Antioch, CA/Antioch) made a layup off a Socha block, giving D'Youville momentum heading into the late minutes of the game.
The Spartan's lead was down to one but Gemerek gave the team a cushion with 2 big free-throws. With 2:05 to go in the game, VanDuluitgaarden hit a big three, giving D'Youville a 76-71 lead. With just 0:26 seconds left in the game, Marcus Clarke (Olean, NY/Archbishop Walsh Academy) drilled 2 clutch free throws, and made it a two possession game. D'Youville would go on to defeat the Mounties by the final score of 79-73.
"That game was truly a total team win," said Head Coach Earl Schunk. "It had all the elements that made it a great win: facing adversity, two equally matched teams, multiple people stepping up at big times and a great back and forth contest."
Freshman Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden had a team high 19 points coming off the bench. Fellow freshman Juan Miguel Rosales scored 11 off the bench, tied with Jon Gemerek for second on the team. Gemerek had a strong all-around game, leading the team with 8 rebounds and 6 assists. A third freshman, Will VanAuken, scored 8 points with 3 rebounds and 3 assists.
Coming off their last game against Medaille, Coach Schunk was looking for an improvement heading into today's contest. He believes his team put for a much better effort on the defensive end today.
"We defended really well today, especially in big moments," said Schunk. "I was really proud of the way we competed today. We need to play similarly tomorrow."
D'Youville out rebounded the Mounties Saturday afternoon by 12. Jake Socha had a career high 6 blocks in the game, also adding 3 rebounds. Nate Sweetman (Johnstown, NY/Johnstown) and Matt Insley (Wellsville, NY/Wellsville) both saw playing time as well.
The men have a quick turnaround, as they will host the Franciscan Barons tomorrow in the College Center Gym. Tip-off is scheduled for 1pm.