Buffalo, NY - The D'Youville men's basketball team earned their first win of the season in their home opener on Friday evening, defeating the Wells Express by the final score of 92-83.
Brian Sharp (Newark, NY/Newark) put the team out to an early lead with back-to-back threes in the first 0:31 of play. After an and-one from Wells to make it 6-4, the two teams would go cold from the field for the next several minutes until a two made free throws that tied the game at 6 with 15:55 to go in the first.
D'Youville would then to start to heat up from the field with 12 consecutive points, including five from Wanya Bruce (Rochester, NY/Fairport), to go up 18-6. With 7:00 to go in the first, Wells cut their deficit to six before Darrius Hartzog (Rochester, NY/Wilson Magnet) drilled a three to bring the lead back up to nine. Another Bruce three made it a 14-point lead for the men late in the first before the Express closed the gap to 10. Wells would then trim their deficit even further, hitting a three at the halftime buzzer to trail by four at 41-37.
Wells would come out hot in the second, making it a two-point game just 1:45 into the action. The game remained at two-points until Grant Beyer (Williamsville, NY/St. Joe's) hit a three with the team going back up by five. After and and-one, Wells tied the game at 52 and then took the lead on their next possession.
With the Express retaking the lead, it would begin a series of back-and-forth lead changes over the next several minutes. D'Youville fell behind by five at 72-67 with 6:31 remaining in the game, but Beyer would begin to take over. His seven and eighth consecutive points pulled the Spartans to within one at 72-71. A Wells jumper would put the Express back up by three, but Simeon Heard (Rochester, NY/Charles Finney) would come up with a big and-one that tied the game at 74.
After Heard's layup, the game would shift back in favor of D'Youville. Following two Hartzog free throws to put the team up by two, Beyer would five consecutive points to put the Spartans up 81-74 on their way to a 9-0 run with 1:29 to go in the game. That run would give D'Youville the push it needed to close out their first victory of the season 92-83.
Beyer led the way for the second consecutive game with 24 points, adding three steals, two assists, and two rebounds. Heard was not far behind with 21 points as he went a perfect 7-7 from the line. Hartzog and Heard tied for the team high with six rebounds each while Hartzog added 19 points and three steals with a perfect 6-6 performance from the line.
Off the bench, Bruce added a team high 11 points with five rebounds. Sharp added six points with a team-high three assists while Juan Miguel Rosales (Guatemala City, Guatemala/Village School) grabbed four rebounds. Torree Cheatham (Lockport, NY/Lockport), Ryan Davis (Darian Center, NY/Alexander), and Noah Denz (East Aurora, NY/East Aurora) added a combined nine points off the bench while Davis and Denz grabbed four boards each.
The next game for the Spartans will come tomorrow as they play at RIT at 3:00pm.