Buffalo, NY - The D'Youville men's basketball team started their three-game homestand on Saturday afternoon by suffering a loss to the first place La Roche Redhawks by the final score of 82-75.
The two teams went toe-to-toe in the opening minutes of the game. Devon Darrell (Lockport, NY/Lockport) put the Spartans up 5-2 just over a minute in with La Roche taking the lead just several seconds later. Each time the Redhawks would go ahead, D'Youville would answer as Darrell hit a three to put the men up 14-11. The back-and-forth play continued until the Spartans began to pull away and earn a six-point lead from a Latrell Butler (Olean, NY/Olean) jumper with 9:03 to go in the first half.
Over the next few minutes, La Roche would come back and take the lead at 28-26 with 4:13 remaining in the half. The Redhawks would continue on their scoring run late into the first as they closed out the half on an 20-10 run as they led 38-32 after 20 minutes of play.
La Roche would maintain at least a six-point lead throughout the first several minutes of the second half. It wasn't until the 11:04 mark of the second when the Spartans would bring their deficit down to five with back-to-back jumpers from Darius Hartzog (Rochester, NY/Wilson Magnet) and Darrell to make the score 50-45 in favor of the Redhawks. However, La Roche would increase their lead to 10 again with 9:18 remaining in the game.
Each time the Spartans would close in on the Redhawks' lead, La Roche would keep the Spartans behind by at least two baskets. D'Youville would again cut their deficit to five with 4:23 to go in the game at 64-69 as Darrell drilled a three. Noah Denz (East Aurora, NY/East Aurora) would keep the game at five with a pair of made free throws and Will Saunders (Cleveland, OH/Euclid) hit a three with 2:05 to go on a three to cut the deficit to four.
Brian Sharp (Newark, NY/Newark) hit a three with 1:13 left on the game clock as the Spartans were still down by four, but the Redhakws pulled away in the final minute as they won the game 82-75.
Saunders and Darrell led the team in scoring with 24 points each. With 12 rebounds, Saunders recorded his first career double-double with the Spartans while Darrell led the team with four assists as he added six rebounds. Hartzog scored nine points with seven boards while Juan Miguel Rosales (Guatemala City, Guatemala/Village School) scored six and Denz scored seven. Simeon Heard (Rochester, NY/Charles Finney) and Ryan Davis (Darien Center, NY/Alexander) combined for four rebounds.
The next game for the men will come this Wednesday, February 5 as they host Hilbert at 6:00pm.