Rosales, Nwaekeke Lead Second Half Charge but Spartans Fall Short to Mavericks

Rosales, Nwaekeke Lead Second Half Charge but Spartans Fall Short to Mavericks

Buffalo, NY - The D'Youville men's basketball team lost to the rival Medaille Mavericks on Wednesday evening by the final score of 85-75.

Medaille took an early lead over D'Youville with the score 5-4 after 3:10 of action. The Mavericks would then go on to take a 10-point lead with just over five minutes into the half at 16-6. As the first portion of the half went on, Medaille was able to keep their distance from the Spartans. Trailing 25-11, freshmen guards Darrius Hartzog (Rochester, NY/Wilson Magnet) and Simeon Heard (Rochester, NY/Charles Finney) made a pair of free throws each and trimmed the lead back down to 10.

The Spartans went back down by 15 before the team pulled back into single digits after a Hartzog layup with 4:58 to go in the half. Following a Zach Blask (Portville, NY/Portville) three, the Medaille lead was down to seven, but the Mavericks would then go back up by 11 with 1:12 to go in the first half of play. As he had done for a majority of the half, Hartzog made a big basket to bring D'Youville back to a single-digit deficit as the Spartans went into the half trailing 43-34.

D'Youville was led by their juniors to start the second half. Blask hit a three and jumper to keep the game in arms length at 52-41 with 5:46 off the clock in the half. Steve Kunelius (Oswego, NY/Oswego) then made a layup followed by a three on the team's next possession to maintain the 11-point deficit. However, Medaille began to pull away ove the next several minutes. The Mavericks went up 63-48 after two free throws with 10:34 to go.

With under 10 to go in the game, Medaille reached their biggest lead at 17 after a made three pointer. Despite being up by a wide margin, the Spartans did not quit. The team was sparked by back-to-back threes from Brian Nwaekeke (Corona, CA/John F. Kennedy) and seven consecutive points from Juan Miguel Rosales (Guatemala City, Guatemala/Village School) including a huge three. The added offense from the two sophomores pulled the game to within seven points at 77-70 with 3:42 left on the game clock. 

In the final three minutes, D'Youville was at the heels of the Mavericks. Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden (Oneida, NY/Vernon-Verona-Sherrill) made a layup to bring the game to a six-point deficit. Rosales kept the game at a six-point difference with 1:24 to go with a made free throw, but Medaille hit several big free throws to ice the game as they went on to defeat the Spartans by the final score of 85-75.

"We fought hard," said head coach Earl Schunk. "It's tough when you get behind early to come back. We hung in there but needed to make a couple big shots at the end."

Leading the team in scoring was Rosales, who scored a career high 16 points. His six rebounds were tied for the team lead with Jake Socha (Tonawanda, NY/Niagara Catholic), who led the team with three blocks. Blask added 12 points in the game and led the team with four steals each. VanDuluitgaarden scored 10 points while Hartzog had 11 while playing exceptional defense.

D'Youville had a great effort from their reserve players on Wednesday evening. Four different players collected at least five rebounds and four players combined for 31 points. Nwaekeke chipped in with eight big points, while Bayani Salinas (Antioch, CA/Antioch) led the team with five assists.

The next game for the men comes this Saturday, January 21st as D'Youville will host Mount Aloysius at 3pm.