Buffalo, NY – The D'Youville men's basketball team got back in the win column Saturday afternoon as they defeated the Mount Aloysius Mounties by the final score of 83-80.
Mount Aloyius went on a 11-4 to start the game in the first 3:57 of play until both teams went cold until the 12:53 mark and the Mounties went up 13-4. The D'Youville offense started to get going as they trailed by 10. A Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden (Oneida, NY/Vernon-Verona-Sherrill) three followed by a Juan Miguel Rosales (Guatemala City, Guatemala/Village School) layup pulled the game to within six at 24-18 with less than 10 to go.
With 7:11 left in the first half, the Mounties regained an eight-point lead. The Spartans brought in their second unit and it helped the team make it a close game. Four straight points from Jake Socha (Tonawanda, NY/Niagara Catholic) closed the gap to 32-28. Down six just about two minutes later, Steve Kunelius (Oswego, NY/Oswego) and VanDuluitgaarden hit back-to-back threes to tie the game at 36. Socha then scored five straight points for D'Youville as they took a three-point lead with a minute left. With 0:26 left in the half, Bayani Salinas (Antioch, NY/Antioch) hit a three to keep the team's three-point lead, but Aloysius answered back with a three to tie the game at 44-44 going into the half.
The D'Youville offense continued the momentum they gained at the end of the first half into the second as they scored the first seven points of the half for a 51-44 lead. Mount Aloysius closed the gap to one point on a made three before a three from Zach Blask (Portville, NY/Portville) and four points from Rosales for a six-point D'Youville lead.
A made three-pointer from Aloysius made it a four-point game with less than 10 minutes to go. With 6:18 to go in the half, VanDuluitgaarden sent the Spartans up by 10 on a made layup and under a minute later, D'Youville would go up by 13 for their largest lead of the game.
The Mounties would begin to mount a comeback as they scored 10 unanswered points to trail 76-75 with 2:38 to go in the game. With 1:06 on the game clock, Mount Aloysius went ahead 80-78 for their first lead of the half before Darrius Hartzog (Rochester, NY/Wilson Magnet) hit a dagger three to give the Spartans the lead back at 81-80. Stellar defense combined with a pair of clutch free throws from Socha in the final 0:04 as D'Youville came away with a huge 83-80 win over Mount Aloysius.
"It was a great win for us," said head coach Earl Schunk. "Mount Aloysius played a great first half and we were lucky to come out of it tied. We made some big shots to build up a cushion, but they fought back again to take the lead. Luckily Darrius (Hartzog) hit a huge three, Jake (Socha) made two clutch free throws and we had three defensive stops in a row to finish out the game."
The Spartans had four players in double-figures Saturday afternoon, led by Socha with 22 points. Second in scoring was VanDuluitgaarden with an outstanding shooting performance, going 4-6 from three and 6-9 from the field with 16 points. He also added five assists, tied for second on the team behind Blask who had eight.
Coming off big performances against Medaille on Wednesday, Rosales and Brian Nwaekeke (Corona, CA/John F. Kennedy) earned starts and did not disappoint. Rosales scored 12 points and Nwaekeke grabbed a team high seven rebounds in his first career start.
Hartzog, who turned in another lockdown defensive performance, added 13 points in the game with five assists, two steals and two rebounds. Simeon Heard (Rochester, NY/Charles Finney) added seven points while Will VanAuken (Caledonia, NY/Caledonia Mumford) grabbed three rebound with three assists.
The next game for the men comes this Wednesday, January 25 as they travel to Penn State-Behrend. Game time is 8pm.