Aurora, NY – The D'Youville men's basketball team won their first game of the season on Saturday afternoon, defeating the host Wells Express by the final score of 67-48.
The Spartans fell behind 5-0 early but battled back to tie the game at 7-7 on a Devon Darrell (Lockport, NY/Lockport) jumper. With D'Youville up 11-7, the two teams would go cold from the field as they went scoreless for over two minutes.
Wells pulled to within a point to trail 15-14 with just under 10 minutes to go in the first half. A 9-0 run by the Spartans was capped off by a Grant Beyer (Williamsville, NY/St. Joe's) jumper as the men led 24-14. Beyer then put the team up by 12 with a pair of made free throws with 4:47 remaining in the half before the two teams would again go quiet from the field. Just six points would be recorded after Beyer's free throws but D'Youville remained their double-digit advantage, leading 32-22 at halftime.
Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden (Verona, NY/Vernon-Verona-Sherrill) and Simeon Heard (Rochester, NY/Charles Finney) combined for the first nine points of the second half as the Spartans were out to a 41-28 lead in second. A Heard free throw with less than seven minutes gone by gave the men a 17-point lead in the game to put D'Youville in a comfortable position.
As the game went under 10 minutes remaining, Jake Socha (Tonawanda, NY/Niagara Catholic) scored three consecutive points to put the Spartans up over 20 at 55-34. Down the stretch, the Spartans could cruise to a big victory due to their successful play at both ends of the court, winning their first game of the season 67-48.
"We did all the things that are keys to winning: defended, rebounded, took care of the ball and got the ball inside," said head coach Earl Schunk. "Once we got the lead, we played very smartly and were able to pull away. I really liked the way we played consistently for 40 minutes."
VanDuluitgaarden had a solid opening performance of the season with a team high 17 points and nearly captured his first double-double of the season with nine rebounds. Both Darrell and Heard scored 11 points with four rebounds each with Will VanAuken (Caledonia, NY/Caledonia-Mumford) scoring six and grabbing seven board. In his first game with the Spartans, Beyer added eight points and seven rebounds himself.
Off the bench, Socha added seven points and five rebounds with Devon Camel (Cheektowaga, NY/Cheektowaga) scoring five points with five rebounds. Jagdeep Drumgoole (Rochester, NY/Early College) scored two points with Jake Funderburk (Amherst, NY/Amherst) grabbing three rebounds in the game.
The next game for the men will come in their home opener this Monday, November 12 as they host Alfred University at 8:00pm.