Bradford, PA – The D'Youville men's basketball team suffered a road defeat on Monday evening to the host Pitt.-Bradford Panthers by the final score of 91-80.
Junior Zach Blask (Portville, NY/Portville) gave the Spartans a 4-0 lead less than a minute into the game. Bradford would then trail the D'Youville by three until Will VanAulken (Caledona, NY/Caledonia Mumford) scored five consecutive points for the Spartans to increase the lead to five. The Panthers would then go on to score nine unanswered points, giving them their first lead of the game. Blask then tied the game up at 20-20 with 9:04 remaining in the half before a 10-0 scoring run by Bradford.
A Steve Kunelius (Oswego, NY/Oswego) three followed by two Simeon Heard (Rochester, NY/Charles Finney) allowed D'Youville to close the gap to two at 32-30 with 3:25 remaining in the first half of play. To close out the half, D'Youville would be outscored 11-4 as the Panthers took a 43-34 lead into halftime.
The Spartans got to the line and inside the pain to start the second, closing the deficit to five at 45-40. Bradford would begin to build a lead over D'Youville, taking a 63-48 lead on a made three 7:17 into the second. Just a few minutes later, the 15-point lead evaporated to six after a Blask free throw. At 65-60, the Panthers would score 10 consecutive points to take a 75-60 lead with 7:19 remaining in regulation, sending the home team back up by 15.
With less than five minutes left on the clock, the Spartans began to mount a comeback. Their play in the paint helped trim the lead to seven after a Jake Socha (Tonawanda, NY/Niagara Catholic) converted and-one. However Bradford would hold on in the final minute of play as the Panthers would go on to win the game by the final score of 91-80.
"We got behind because we didn't play our game," said head coach Earl Schunk. "We fought hard and almost got all the way back. Credit Bradford for making some big shots down the way."
Hitting a new career high in scoring was Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden (Oneida, NY/Vernon-Verona-Sherrill) with 28 points. Socha recorded his second double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Black scored 11 points to go with his team high five assists, seven rebounds and three steals. VanAuken tied a season high 12 points, grabbing seven rebounds as well.
The Spartans will travel to La Roche on Saturday, January 14th to play the Redhawks at 4pm.