Buffalo, NY – Following their win on Saturday over Mount Aloysius, the D'Youville men's basketball team won their second straight game Sunday afternoon by defeating the Franciscan Barons 92-74.
The Spartan's defense was strong early on in the game, allowing only 5 points through the first 9:29 of the game. D'Youville led 7-3 with a Marcus Clarke (Olean, NY/Archbishop Walsh Academy) layup and continued to build on their lead. Contributions from several different players gave D'Youville an 18-7 lead with 9:50 to go in the half.
Franciscan's offense began to get some footing in the game, bringing their deficit to 22-15 at the 8:27 mark. The Spartans would heat up from behind the arc, with Steve Kunelius (Oswego, NY/Oswego), Clarke and Nate Sweetman (Johnstown, NY/Johnstown) all hitting threes, giving D'Youville a 30-17 lead.
The offensive load was spread out between several different players as the half wore down. Six different Spartans accounted for the last 7 baskets of the half, including 5 points from Jon Gemerek (Cheektowaga, NY/Depew) and 2 from Andrew Steele (Lakewood, OH/Lakewood). The sharing of the basketball led to a 15 point lead at halftime, as D'Youville went into the lockerroom with a 44-29 lead.
D'Youville's offense didn't slow down when the second half began. Will VanAuken (Caledonia, NY/Caledonia-Mumford) began the scoring in the second with a made layup, followed by back-to-back threes from Clarke and Kunelius. VanAuken gave the Spartans their largest lead of the game at 21 with another layup with 16:55 remaining in the game, and the Barons would have a hard time closing the gap.
Coming off a 19 point performance on Saturday, freshman Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden (Oneida, NY/Vernon-Verona-Sherrill) once again put on an offensive showcase. With 11:37 left in the game, VanDuluitgaarden hit 2 free-throws and then a layup just under a minute later. On his next two trips down the court, the freshman hit back-to-back threes, showing off his versatility. In a matter of 1:41, Jeremy scored 10 points.
Following VanDuluitgaarden's threes, Bayani Salinas (Antioch, CA/Antioch) hit a three of his own to tie the team's largest lead of the game. Jake Socha (Tonawanda, NY/Niagara-Catholic) hit a free-throw on the next trip down the court and gave D'Youville a 76-52 lead with 8:37 to go in the game.
Zach Blask (Portville, NY/Portville) scored 7 of the last 9 points; with Matt Insley (Wellsville, NY/Wellsville) accounting for the other 2, and the Spartans would cruise to their second consecutive victory by the final score of 92-74.
"Today was another game where our defense keyed our victory," said Head Coach Earl Schunk. "We defended well early and once our offense got some pace and consistency we were able to get a good lead."
For the second straight game, Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden led the team in scoring. His 17 points were followed by 13 from Zach Blask, 12 from Marcus Clarke and 11 from Steve Kunelius. Jake Socha led the team with 7 rebounds and also had 7 points. Bayani Salinas had 6 rebounds of his own and 6 points as well. Conor Gallivan (Elma, NY/Iroquois) tied Jon Gemerek tied for the team lead in assists with 4. Nate Sweetman added 8 points and Andrew Steele had 5 rebounds.
Coach Schunk gives credit to his entire team for getting the win today. The scoring was very spread out, with 3 of the top 4 scorers coming off the bench and 11 different players scoring in the game.
"Franciscan never stopped playing so we had to keep up the intensity," said Coach Schunk. "It was great to see everyone step up."
All 15 players on the D'Youville roster saw playing time today. Freshmen Juan Miguel Rosales (Guatemala City, Guatemala/Village School) and Patrick Plummer (Cheektowaga, NY/Cheektowaga), along with sophomore Mark Jorgensen (Rochester, NY/Spencerport) each got into the game and gained some valuable playing experience.
With their two wins this weekend, the Spartans moved from ninth in the conference to sixth. The top six teams in the conference make the AMCC playoffs.
For the next three games, the Spartans will be on the road. Their next game comes this Wednesday at the Pitt.-Bradford Bobcats, with tip-off coming at 6pm.