Erie, PA – The D'Youville men's basketball team lost their first conference game of the season on Wednesday evening, falling to the Penn State-Behrend Lions by the final score of 86-54.
Only three points were scored in the first three minutes of play as the Lions led 3-0 over the Spartans. Behrend was ahead or even with D'Youville until Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden (Verona, NY/Vernon-Verona-Sherrill) hit a three to give the Spartans a 9-8 advantage. After the Lions pulled to with one point, Jake Socha (Tonawanda, NY/Niagara Catholic) made a layup to put D'Youville back up by three with 12:44 remaining on the clock. However, Behrend would finally catch up to the Spartans and retake the lead with just less than 10 minutes to go in the half.
Behrend would begin to pull away from a one-point lead to grow their lead to nine at 30-21 with 4:01 remaining in the first. Steve Kunelius (Oswego, NY/Oswego) brought the score back to within four less than a minute later, but the Spartans would then go scoreless for the remainder of the half. The Lions scored 10 unanswered points to close out the half and took a 40-26 lead into halftime.
The Lions lead grew to 16 after just over two minutes of action in the second. That lead then grew to 20 at 50-30 three minutes later as Behrend began to pull away from D'Youville and the Spartans hopes of a comeback began to get smaller. For two minutes in the middle of the half, the two teams went scoreless before a Juan Miguel Rosales (Guatemala City, Guatemala/Village School) brought the Spartans back to within 20 with a layup.
With 3:02 to go in the game, the Lions lead continued to grow as they got out to an insurmountable lead. They closed out the game on a 14-2 run, defeating the Spartans 86-54.
"We competed well, especially on defense for 3/4 of the game," said head coach Earl Schunk. "This was a good lesson for us, we need to play with confidence through adversity. I really like this team a lot, and though it might seem strange in a game like this I feel we will be very, very good by the time the meat of our schedule comes around. Congratulations to Behrend on a fine game, we will see them again."
VanDuluitgaarden led the team in scoring Wednesday evening with 14 points. Both Rosales and Darrius Hartzog (Rochester, NY/Wilson Magnet) scored 10 points and grabbed three rebounds. Will VanAuken (Caledonia, NY/Caledonia) led the team in rebounding with five and assists with four, adding a steal and block. Wanya Bruce (Rochester, NY/Fairport) scored six points to lead all reserves, while Haiden Ward (Bloomfield, NY/Bloomfield) scored five points.
The next game for the men comes this Saturday, December 2 as they host Mount Aloysius at 1:00pm.