Bradford, PA – The D'Youville men's basketball team lost their first game of a three-game road trip to the Pitt.-Bradford Panthers on Wednesday evening by the final of 81-79.
It was a close game at the beginning of the game between the two teams. Tied at 8-8, Darrius Hartzog (Rochester, NY/Wilson Magnet) and Simeon Heard (Rochester, NY/Charles Finney) hit back-to-back threes for the Spartans to give the team a 14-10 lead through 4:49 of game action. Bradford would pull within a possession several times, but D'Youville would answer each time. With the Panthers trailing 20-17, Steve Kunelius (Oswego, NY/Oswego) and Brian Nwaekeke (Corona, CA/John F. Kennedy) hit back-to-back threes to take a 26-19 lead.
D'Youville continued hold the advantage over the Panthers as they went up by 11 with 7:11 remaining in the half on a Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden (Verona, NY/Vernon-Verona-Sherrill) layup. With 4:00 to go, Heard sank a jumper to extend the Spartan lead to 14 as they remained in control of the game. With a made free throw with under a minute left in the half, the Panthers made it a 10-point game and D'Youville led 48-38 at halftime.
Throughout the first eight minutes of the second half, D'Youville continued to maintain their successful play on both ends of the court. Bradford drew to their smallest deficit of the half at seven with 12:00 to go in regulation, and began to put pressure on the Spartans. Just over two minutes later, the Panthers closed the gap to two at 61-59.
Bradford completed their comeback on an and-one with 8:04 for a 66-65 lead. The Spartans were then able to retake the lead and go up 72-68 with a VanDuluitgaarden layup, but Bradford came back to take the lead at 77-76. On the next possession, D'Youville regained the lead off a Nwakeke layup with under two minutes to go. The men then went up 79-77 before the Panthers tied the game at 79-all with 0:36 remaining.
As the clock wore down, D'Youville appeared to take a three-point lead on a made three with 0:02 before it was overturned for a shot clock violation. A technical foul send Bradford to the line to give them the lead and win them the game 81-79.
Juan Miguel Rosales (Guatemala City, Guatemala/Village School) had team highs with 24 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double. VanDuluitgaarden also had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds as Heard added 18 points. Off the bench, Nwakeke added seven points, six rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
The next game for the men will come this Saturday, February 3 as they travel to play the Penn State-Altoona Lions at 1:00pm.