Alfred, NY – The D'Youville men's basketball team (1-1) won their first game of the season in dramatic fashion on Saturday afternoon, defeating the Alfred State Pioneers by the final score of 114-105 in double overtime.
D'Youville had several different contributors to begin the game. Six different players accounted for the first six baskets of the game as the Spartans trailed 19-16 through 8:58 of play. After Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden (Verona, NY/Vernon-Verona-Sherrill) tied the game at 19, the backcourt duo of Simeon Heard (Rochester, NY/Bishop Kearney) and Darrius Hartzog (Rochester, NY/Wilson Magnet) combined for seven points to give the Spartans a 26-25 lead.
Alfred State was never far from the Spartan's lead as they trailed 30-29 and eventually tied the game at 32. The Pioneers then took the lead back but D'Youville came back take the lead over at 39-34 with 4:04 remaining in the half. With 2:21 to go, Alfred State retook the lead on a three-pointer just to have Devon Camel (Cheektowaga, NY/Cheektowaga) tie the game on a three of his own. The Pioneers scored on the next possession to take the lead and took that 47-45 lead into halftime.
The two teams continued to duke it out when the second half began play. Alfred State went up by four points just to have D'Youville tie the game with less than three minutes played in the half. The Pioneers would then take the lead on their next possession and extend that lead to six, holding that lead until they went up by seven with 11:58 to go in regulation. Camel then put the Spartans to within a basket of the lead after he scored five consecutive points for the men to have the team trail 62-60.
As they did every time the Spartans were close to tying the game, Alfred State was able to add some cushion between themselves and D'Youville as they took a seven-point lead with under eight minutes to go in regulation. However the persistent Spartans continued to battle and they eventually tied the game at 75 with 4:49 left on the game clock.
The two teams traded leads over the next few minutes before the Spartans looked to be in control of the game as Hartzog scored five consecutive points, giving D'Youville an 85-84 lead with 0:45 second to go. With just 0:03 on the clock, Alfred State hit three free throws to tie the game, sending the game to the first overtime period.
Four separate players scored for the Spartans in the first three minutes of OT to give D'Youville a 98-94 lead. That lead was held until Alfred State scored on a pair of layups to tie the game at 98-98, which proved to be effective because the score would remain tied at 98 as the two teams went into a second overtime.
The second OT belonged to D'Youville, but more specifically Heard. The point guard scored 10 of the team's 16 points in the second OT period to help secure the team's first win of the season. An outstanding defensive effort played a big role in the team's win as they didn't allow the Pioneers to score once in the final 2:18 of the second OT. The Spartans fought their way to victory as they defeated Alfred State 114-105.
"This was the wildest game I've been a part of in the seven years I've been here," said head coach Earl Schunk. "We had to come back several times only to take a seemingly safe lead and then Alfred State would come back. I'm proud of these guys for hanging and making a lot of big shots at the end to clinch the win. Winning close games like this will help us greatly as we prepare for the conference schedule."
D'Youville had five players score in double-figures in the game, led by Heard with a career high 35. Brian Nwaekeke (Corona, CA/John F. Kennedy) recorded his second double-double in as many games this season with 13 points and 12 rebounds, as well as coming up with several big shots. VanDuluitgaarden also recorded a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Hartzog contributed 15 points with Camel scoring a team high 16 points off the bench.
Will VanAuken (Caledonia, NY/Caledonia-Mumford) had a strong game on the glass with seven rebounds. Heard added six rebounds while Wanya Bruce (Rochester, NY/Fairport) contributed two assists in the game, second only to Nwakeke's three.
D'Youville will next host the Wells Express on Monday, November 20 as tip-off for their home opener is scheduled for 6:00pm.