Pittsburgh, PA - The D'Youville men's basketball team got back to conference action on Saturday afternoon as they fell to the La Roche Redhawks by the final score of 90-79.
Juan Miguel Rosales (Guatemala City, Guatemala/Village School) came out early and scored four of the team's first six points to give D'Youville a 6-2 lead after three minutes of play. Devon Darrell (Lockport, NY/Lockport) would convert an and-one just under two minutes later to put the men up 10-5 before La Roche began to get going. A made three from the Redhawks closed the gap to two, but newcomer Will Saunders (Cleveland, OH/Euclin) would add a layup followed by a Darrius Hartzong (Rochester, NY/Wilson Magnet) and-one to put the Spartans back up 20-12.
La Roche continued to keep the game close as they drew to within two at 25-23 with 8:13 to go in the half. Saunders and Hartzog would score the next six points with back-to-back threes and push the lead back out to three. With 3:17 to go in the half, the deficit was three for the Redhawks and they then closed the gap to one seconds later. The Redhawks would take the lead by two with under two to go, but a Hartzog three would send D'Youville up 44-42 heading into halftime.
The Spartans came out in the second and extended their lead to five just over two minutes into the half. Each time D'Youville would attempt to pull away, the Redhawks were there to answer. Down by five, La Roche would retake the lead again for just the second time in the game at the 10:58 mark on a made three that put D'Youviille behind 60-59.
Down by five, the Spartans would pull back to within two at 64-66 with a made Brian Sharp (Newark, NY/Newark) three. However with 5:51 to go in the game, La Roche would open up their largest lead of the game at eight and then went ahead by 11 just over a minute later. The late lead was too large for the Spartans to overcome as they fell in their first game of the new year 90-79.
"Tough loss for us," said head coach Earl Schunk. "We led for most of the first 32 minutes against the first place team. I really liked our energy and effort. We got a little stagnant on offense late and it cost us dearly. If we play like this the rest of the way we will be a dangerous opponent."
Rosales led the team in scoring with 20 points and rebounds with eight, adding a steal. Hartzog and Saunders scored 17 each off the bench, with Saunders adding five rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Darrell led the team with four assists and three steals.
The next game for the men will come next Wednesday, January 8 as the Spartans travel to Mount Aloysius to take on the Mounties at 1:00pm.