Cresson, PA – The D'Youville men's basketball team earned their first conference win of the season Saturday afternoon, defeating the Mount Aloysius Mounties by the final score of 95-85.
Showing a balanced offense early, the Spartans hit two jumpers and two three-pointers in the early goings of the game for a 10-2 lead. The Mounties pulled back to within five at 12-7 before Zach Blask (Portville, NY/Portville) hit his second three of the game to give D'Youville a 15-7 lead with 5:14 gone in the game. Mount Aloysius would fight back to trail by one with 10:16 to go in the half and then take the lead at 27-26 just over 0:30 later.
Juan Miguel Rosales (Guatemala City, Guatemala/Village School) and Steve Kunelius (Oswego, NY/Oswego) helped tie the game up at 31-31, but Mount Aloysius pulled out to a five-point lead with 6:47 to go. Up by four with just under three minutes to play in the first half, the Spartans came back to tie up the game at 42 due to a Simeon Heard (Rochester, NY/Charles Finney) layup. Heard hit his second layup in as many minutes, this time with 0:01 left to give the Spartans a 46-45 lead at halftime.
Mount Aloysius opened the second half by retaking the lead but Blask answered right away with a three to give the Spartans the 49-47. Sophomores Jake Socha (Tonawanda, NY/Niagara Catholic) and Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden (Oneida, NY/Vernon-Verona-Sherrill) then took over the scoring load for D'Youville. The two combined for the next nine of the next 12 points for the team as they took a 63-55 lead over the Mounties.
With 6:23 remaining in the game, Black made a three to send the team up 77-64. Mount Aloysius tried to get back into the game, but they weren't able to get their deficit back under 10 points until there was less than a minute in the game. Will VanAuken (Caledonia, NY/Caledonia-Mumford) hit his second three of the game and sent the Spartans up by 15 with 2:12 remaining in the game. Free throws from Socha, VanDuluitgaarden and Darrius Hartzog (Rochester, NY/Wilson Magnet) helped clinch the game and give D'Youville their first conference win of the season 95-85.
"It was a total team effort," said head coach Earl Schunk. "We had six guys in double-figures and several others stepped up big on defense in the second half. Now we need to carry this momentum over to our last two games before break."
With a season high 17 points, Blask was the team's leading scorer in the win. He was followed by Socha with 16 and Heard with 14, a new career high. Blask also led the team with five steals in the game, while VanDuluitgaarden added 11 points and a team high six assists. Along with Socha, the two had seven rebounds each.
Off the bench, Rosales and Hartzog were big for the men. Rosales led bench players with 12 points and 7 rebounds. He, along with Darius, each had three steals. Hartzog had 11 points and two assists. VanAuken had a team high nine rebounds in the game.
Brian Nwaekeke (Corona, CA/John F. Kennedy) had five points off the bench, with Kunelius adding three and two assists. Freshman Haiden Ward (Bloomfield, NY/Bloomfield) recorded two rebounds and two assists.
The next game for the men comes at home on Saturday, December 10th as they host the Pitt.-Greensburg Bobcats. Tip-off will be at 3pm.