Pittsburgh, PA – The D' Youville men's basketball team closed out their season with a loss on the road Saturday afternoon, falling to the La Roche Redhawks by the final score of 85-75.
D'Youville took an early 3-0 lead before La Roche came back to take a 12-8 advantage. The Spartans retook the lead on a Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden (Verona, NY/Vernon-Verona-Sherrill) layup but the Redhawks would then come down the court to regain the lead. Training by one at 20-19 with 12:27 to go in the half, D'Youville would go cold from the field, failing to score for almost seven minutes with La Roche going on a 16-0 scoring run.
A pair of back-to-back threes from Steve Kunelius (Oswego, NY/Oswego) and Devon Camel (Cheektowaga, NY/Cheektowaga) would make it a 10-point game with 3:11 to go in the half as the Spartans began to crawl back in the game. Juan Miguel Rosales (Guatemala City, Guatemala/Village School) added a layup after the back-to-back threes and Brian Nwaekeke (Corona, CA/John F. Kennedy) drilled a three to cap off the 8-0 scoring run as the Spartans pulled to within five at 41-36 as with under two minutes to go. La Roche was able to inflate their lead again before halftime as they went up 51-40 after 20 minutes of play.
The second half opened with the Spartans closing the gap to five a 53-48. La Roche would do their best to grow their advantage as they went up by 11 with 13:41 to go in the game and they would hold that lead as they two teams went scoreless for over three minutes. With 9:01 to go, D'Youville put themselves right back in the game as they trailed 62-58.
Darrius Hartzog (Rochester, NY/Wilson Magnet) sank a pair of free throws with 7:18 to go in the game and the Spartans closed the gap to their smallest deficit of the half at two. D'Youville continued to hang in the game trailing by three with under four minutes remaining. However, the Redhawks would go on an 8-0 run to go up by 12 and put the game away, defeating the Spartans by the final score of 85-75.
"It was a hard fought game and we left it all on the floor today," said head coach Earl Schunk. "The guys gave a great effort against the team that will be hosting the tournament. I want to thank the guys for all their hard work this season and Steve Kunelius for four great years. We will be back better than ever next season."
Both VanDuluitgaarden and Nwaekeke picked up where they left off last game against Medaille as the two each picked up double-doubles. Nwaekeke tied his career high that he scored last game with 26 points, also grabbing a team high 11 rebounds. VanDuluitgaarden scored 16 points with 10 rebounds with four assists. Kunelius added 11 points in his final game as a Spartan with Rosales scoring 10 points and grabbing six rebounds.
Hartzog scored seven points with a team high five assists off the bench. Camel added three points with Will VanAuken (Caledonia, NY/Caledonia-Mumford) contributing two points, three boards, and two assists. Tyreke Mims (Churchville, NY/Chuchville-Chili) also saw playing time.