Who: #5 D'Youville (11-14, 9-9) at #4 Mount Aloysius (13-12, 10-8)
What: AMCC Playoffs - First Round
Where: Cresson, PA / Mount Aloysius
When: Saturday, October 27 - 2:00pm
Buffalo, NY - The D'Youville men's basketball team has returned to the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) playoffs for the first time since 2014-15 and are a dangerous team at both ends of the floor.
D'Youville was the highest scoring team in the AMCC during conference play with 1,440 points scored and allowing 1,410. The Spartan's high scoring attach was led by Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden (Verona, NY/Vernon-Verona-Sherrill) - the conference's leading scorer. Newcomer Grant Beyer (Williamsville, NY/St. Joe's) add an additional wrinkle to the team's offense, providing another dangerous scorer as Beyer finished the season sixth in the conference in scoring.
VanDuluitgaarden averaged 18.5 PPG - three points higher than the next scorer in the AMCC. The senior also averaged 10.3 RPG to lead the AMCC as well, also finishing the season third in blocks with 1.6 BPG and is fourth in minutes with 32.5 MPG. As for Beyer, his 14.7 PPG and 41.1 three-point percentage this season were amongst the best in the conference.
As for the defensive end, seniors Devon Camel (Cheektowaga, NY/Cheektowaga) and Will VanAuken (Caledonia, NY/Caledonia-Mumford) are both able to defend multiple positions. Camel is one of the best perimetry defenders in the AMCC while VanAuken is one of the best in the post. Both have offensive upside as well with Camel finishing third on the team in scoring with a career high 9.5 PPG. VanAuken is the second on the team with 6.5 RPG.
Freshman point guard Devon Darrell (Lockport, NY/Lockport) has been the floor general for the men this season, adding speed and playmaking to the lineup. He leads the team in assists this year and is fourth in scoring and field goal percentage.
Heard is the team's secondary ball handler and a player that can hit from distance or get to the rack. His experience as a player is a big boost for the men. Nwaekeke has come on at the end of the season and stepped into a starting role due to injury, but his blend of size, speed, and athleticism make him a matchup nightmare. He finished the third in rebounding and fifth in scoring for the men this season. As for Sharp, he is a lethal shooter from distance and is a dangerous player with the ball in his hand from behind the arc.
The Spartans have a balanced team approach on offense and defense. They finished fifth overall in the conference, defeating both the second and fourth ranked teams in the conference this season.
Mount Aloysius, the fourth seed in the AMCC playoffs, went 1-1 against the Spartans this past season. In their last meeting, the Spartans defeated the Mounties 75-63. VanDuluitgaarden led the way for D'Youville with 19 points, 16 rebounds, and six blocks with Beyer scoring 17, Darrell scoring 10 with six assists, Camel scoring 10, and Sharp scoring 13 off the bench.
In their first meeting of the season at Mount Aloysius, D'Youville suffered a three-point loss on the road. The Spartans trailed by one with 0:38 after a Beyer three, but the Mounties would hit free throws late to secure the win. Beyer led the team with 17 points, followed by VanDuluitgaarden with 13 points and 13 rebounds as Camel scored 12.
In their last six games prior to Wednesday's game, the Mounties are 2-4. They have lost each of their last two games and three of their last five; one loss of which that came against the Spartans. Mount Aloysius is the lowest scoring team in the AMCC, but their defensive game is excellent. They have allowed the second lowest scoring totals with 1,140 points against through 18 games.
The winner of Wednesday's game will advance to play Penn State-Behrend on Saturday at La Roche.