Meadville, PA - The D'Youville men's basketball team won their first game of the season Saturday afternoon by defeating the SUNY New Paltz Hawks by the final score of 87-80.
In the early goings of the first half, Jake Socha (Tonawanda, NY/Niagara Catholic) was the main source of offense for the Spartans. Socha put the team up 6-2 before the Hawks pulled to within two at 6-4. Jake then scored the next six points to send D'Youville up by eight at 12-4 4:25 into the game.
New Paltz made it a close game before tying it up at 23-23 on back-to-back three pointers with just over 10 minutes left in the first. The Hawks took their first lead of the game on another three pointer to take the lead at 29-28. Back-to-back three-point plays by freshman Darrius Hartzog (Rochester, NY/Wilson Magnet) and Simeon Heard (Rochester, NY/Charles Finney) put D'Youville back up by three at 34-31 with 5:51 to go in the half.
Hartzog continued to show his scoring touch with four consecutive points. The Hawks came back to go up by four with 1:04 remaining in the half and went into the half with that same point lead at 44-40.
The Hawks opened up two separate six-point leads to start the second half but the Spartans came right back to take the lead. Bayani Salinas (Antioch, CA/Antioch) drilled a three followed by a layup to give D'Youville the lead back at 51-50 with 14:11 to go in the game. However New Paltz would edge out the Spartans over the next several minutes and get out to a 74-69 lead with 6:43 left in the game.
Down six with 4:15 to go, D'Youville began to climb back into the game. Steve Kunelius (Oswego, NY/Oswego) hit a three and a jumper in consecutive possessions to tie the game at 79 all. The Hawks went up one but that would be their last lead of the game as Kunelius and Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden (Oneida, NY/Venrnon-Verona-Sherrill) combined for six points in the final 1:37 and the Spartans defeated the Hawks 86-80.
"Today was as gratifying as yesterday was disappointing," said head coach Earl Schunk. "We played with energy on both ends of the floor, and overcame a great shooting performance from New Paltz."
Five different Spartans scored in double-figures. Socha led the way with 16 points and had a team high four blocks. He was second on the team with six rebounds and tied for first with three steals. VanDuluitgaarden was the team's leading rebounder with nine and tied for a team high three assists, all going with his 14 points.
Heard led all bench players with 12 points, followed by 10 from Hartzog and nine from Kunelius. Will VanAuken (Caledonia, NY/Caledonia-Mumford) had five rebounds and three points off the bench. Juan Miguel Rosales (Guatemala City, Guatemala/Village School) and Zach Blask (Portville, NY/Portville) each had six points and three rebounds. Salinas had 11 points, two blocks, three steals, two assists and four rebounds. Brian Nwaekeke (Corona, CA/John F. Kennedy) added valuable minutes off the bench.
Coach Schunk was very pleased with his team's performance on Saturday. He contributed a complete game from his guys as the key factor in the win.
"It was truly a team performance with five guys in double figures and eight guys with six or more points," said Schunk. "Having said that, our defense in the last five minutes won us this game."
The men will next play on Tuesday, November 22nd as they travel to Fredonia. Tip-off will be at 7pm.