Who: La Roche (5-1, 3-0) vs. D'Youville Spartans (4-1, 2-0)
What: Men's Basketball - Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) Game of the Week
Where: College Center Gym
When: Saturday, December 8 at 4:00pm
Buffalo, NY - Two of the top teams in the AMCC face off this Saturday as the undefeated and first place La Roche Redhawks men's basketball team visit the undefeated and third place D'Youville Spartans men's basketball team.
D'Youville enters the game on a three-game win-streak, including victories in each of their first two conference games of the season. The Spartans defeated the rivaled Hilbert Hawks 97-88 for their first win of the conference schedule. It was a strong performance by the Spartans as they never trailed in the game and held a 27-point advantage in the game.
The next conference victory for the men came last Saturday as the had a comeback victory over the Franciscan Barons 72-69. D'Youville trailed through the first half, but took the lead early in the second and were able hold off a late push by the Barons to earn their second conference victory of the young season.
There has just as much success for the men in non-conference play as well with a pair of victories over Wells (67-48) and Fredonia (85-77). The only loss this season that the Spartans have suffered was to Alfred University by the score of 83-77 - showcasing the team is in every game they play.
Senior Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden (Verona, NY/Vernon-Verona-Sherrill) has been one of the best players in the AMCC this season and has been a big reason for the 4-1 start for D'Youville. He leads the team and conference with 19.8 PPG and is third in the AMCC and first on the team with 8.4 RPG. Jeremy has scored at least 14 points in each game this season while scoring a career high 32 in the victory over Hilbert.
Simeon Heard (Rochester, NY/Charles Finney) and Grant Beyer (Williamsville, NY/St. Joe's) have contributed in big ways to the team's 79.6 PPG as Heard averages 11.6 PPG and Beyer scored 11.0 PPG. Heard is also third on the team in rebounding with 6.2 RPG while both are top-four on the team in FG%.
Will VanAuken (Caledonia, NY/Caledonia-Mumford) and Devon Darrell (Lockport, NY/Lockport) - the two additional members of the starting five - have both played important roles. VanAuken plays an outstanding defensive game and is second on the team with 7.6 RPG while Darrell is the team's floor general, leading the team in assists.
Off the bench, Devon Camel (Cheektowaga, NY/Cheektowaga), Brian Nwaekeke (Corona, CA/John F. Kennedy), Brian Sharp (Newark, NY/Newark), and Jake Socha (Tonawanda, NY/Niagara Catholic) all have had their moments of importance to help the team to a 4-1 record. Camel leads the team and AMCC in three-point shooting with Sharp not too far behind. Nwaekeke and Socha each add size, rebounding, and scoring to help bolster a talented team.
As for their opponents, the La Roche Redhawks are coming off a championship season that saw them hoist the AMCC Championship trophy in 2017-18. The Redhawks are a dangerous scoring team with an average of 82.2 PPG and four players that average over 10 PPG.
La Roche has several players that are amongst the best in the conference. Ray Quan Phifer is second in the conference in scoring only to the Spartan's VanDuluitgaarden as Tyler Frederick is fourth in the AMCC in rebounding, right behind VanDuluitgaarden. Austin Hannes and Frederick rank fourth and fifth in the AMCC in FG% respectively while Hannes is second in the AMCC in three-point percentage, second to only D'Youville's Camel.
The Redhawks are coming off their closest game of the season, a five-point victory over the Pitt.-Greensburg Bobcats. They have won five consecutive games after losing their opening game of the season, scoring 74 or more points in each of them.
For more on the AMCC Game of the Week, visit the AMCC website.