Bradford, PA - The D'Youville men's basketball team completed the season sweep over the Pitt.-Bradford Panthers on Wednesday evening by the final score of 84-78.
It was a low-scoring affair through the first five minutes of play as the teams combined for 13 points with the Panthers leading by one at 7-6. The lead would change hands several times before Will Saunders (Cleveland, OH/Euclid) hit a jumper to put the Spartans up 12-9. That lead would increase to six over the next several minutes with D'Youville going ahead 16-11.
Despite their attempts to pull away as the first half went on, Bradford would hang with D'Youville. A pair of free throws from Saunders sent the five with the Panthers answering on their next possession with a jumper. With 4:22 to go in the half, Brian Sharp (Newark, NY/Newark) made a layup to extend the men's lead to eight. Sharp would remain red-hot as he then scored the next eight points for the men as D'Youville went into halftime leading 38-29.
Bradford would come out in the second half and begin to chip away at their deficit. Through nearly the first three minutes of the second half, the gap was closed to three and then two nearly two minutes later. Finally after 5:27 of play in the second, Bradford would retake the lead at 46-45. After that, the Spartans would get hot from deep as they went on a 14-3 run with multiple threes, as Noah Denz (East Aurora, NY/East Aurora) and Saunders caught fire from long range.
The resilient Panthers would again pull themselves back into the game as a made jumper put them behind by three with 7:27 to go in regulation. However, D'Youville would again push their lead to a comfortable range and lead by seven after a Devon Darrell (Lockport, NY/Lockport) free throw. Despite closing the gap to five with 1:03 remaining in the game, the Panthers were unable to get over the hump as the Spartans won the game by the final score of 84-78.
Saunders led the team with 23 points and 14 rebounds, adding four assists. Darrell scored 16 points while dishing out nine assists, grabbing seven rebounds, and collecting four steals. Sharp had a very strong game with 16 points while Darrius Hartzog (Rochester, NY/Wilson Magnet) scored 12 points with five rebounds.
Juan Miguel Rosales (Guatemala City, Guatemala/Village School) scored six points with four rebounds in his first game back from injury. Denz added seven points while Latrell Butler (Olean, NY/Olean) scored two. Simeon Heard (Rochester, NY/Charles Finney) scored two points as well with Wanya Bruce (Rochester, NY/Fairport) had one rebound, assist, steal, and block.
The next game for the men will be their final of the season as they host the Mount Aloysius Mounties this Saturday, February 22 for senior day at 1:00pm.