Buffalo, NY – The D'Youville men's basketball team suffered their first home conference loss of the season on Saturday afternoon, falling to the Mount Aloysius Mounties by the final score of 71-66.
The Spartan's offense was locked-in to begin the game. Within the first two minutes, the Spartans had taken an 8-2 lead over the Mounties following a Will VanAuken (Caledonia, NY/Caledonia-Mumford) three. Over the next few minutes, the D'Youville lead grew to 11 with a dunk from Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden (Verona, NY/Vernon-Verona-Sherrill) to make the score 18-7. Mount Aloysius made it a nine-point game as it neared the 10-minute mark, but a Devon Camel (Cheektowaga, NY/Cheektowaga) layup made it a double-digit lead once again.
As the 10 minutes remained in the first half, the Mounties began to slowly chip away at the D'Youville lead. They made it a six-point game with 9:16 to go in the half and then made it a three-point game less than a minute later. With the Mounties pulling to within two at 30-28, a Juan Miguel Rosales (Guatemala City, Guatemala/Village School) layup made it a four-point game once again.
Mount Aloysius was finally able to catch back up to the Spartans, tying the game at 32-32 with 3:39 left in the half and then taking a three-point lead with less than three remaining. The Spartans pulled to back within one, but the Mounties would made a layup as time expired in the first half and took a 37-34 lead into halftime.
D'Youville came out in the second half and took the lead back within their first two possessions. In the first 7:09 of the second half, Rosales, VanAuken, and Darrius Hartzog (Rochester, NY/Wilson Magnet) accounted for the first 13 points for D'Youvlle, giving the men a 47-42 lead over the Mounties. Mount Aloysius would come back over the next several minutes to retake the lead at 49-48, but Hartzog would answer with a pair of free throws to give the Spartans the lead back.
Following Hartzog's free throws, the Mounties would take over the lead once again and begin to hold onto it for a few minutes. With 7:43 remaining in the game, Rosales scored on a layup to give his team a one-point advantage. The lead would either change or the score would be tied four times in the next two minutes, with both teams taking a swing at taking control of the game.
With 3:27 left in the in the game, Mount Aloysius took the lead for the final time. The Mounties led 67-64 before the Spartans pulled to within one on a Simeon Heard (Rochester, NY/Charles Finney) layup. However Mount Aloysius would go back up by three, and then sink a pair of free throws with 0:10 to go in the game to ice the game as the Mounties defeated the Spartans 71-66.
"Obviously it was a very disappointing loss," said head coach Earl Schunk. "We got off to a very good start and then we lost our edge for some reason. Mount Aloysius did a good job of limiting our inside game and we went cold from outside. It was a hard fought, back and forth second half. They made one more big shot than we did."
Rosales led the team in scoring with a season high 20 points in the game, adding six rebounds and five blocks. VanAuken picked up his first double-double of the season with 12 points and a team high 12 rebounds. VanDuluitgaarden added 10 boards and three assists, while Heard had eight points, five rebounds and a team high six assists. Hartzog had five rebounds and nine points.
Off the bench, Jake Socha (Tonawanda, NY/Niagara Catholic) led the way with nine points, four rebounds, and three blocks. Camel added two points and had a very strong game on defense.
Despite the loss, coach Schunk feels strongly about his team and the potential for his guys to get going this season.
"I still really believe in these guys. We just have to get our confidence back."
The men have just one game remaining in 2017 as they travel to Pitt.-Greensburg next Saturday, December 9 to play the Bobcats a 1:00pm.