Buffalo, NY - The D'Youville men's basketball team had a dominant performance in their home opener Monday evening, defeating the Wells Express by the final score of 96-64.
Scoring during the early part of the first half was at a minimum as it was tied 4-4 after four minutes of play. Wells then began to pull away as they outscored D'Youville 9-2 in the next two minutes. From the Spartans trailing 13-6, the team had a solid inside-out game working. Wanya Bruce (Rochester, NY/Fairport) and Will VanAuken (Caledonia, NY/Caledonia-Mumford) hit a pair of threes to go with two layups from Jake Socha (Tonawanda, NY/Niagara Catholic) to tie the game at 18-18.
With 9:57 left in the first, the Express retook the lead 21-20, but a Juan Miguel Rosales (Guatemala City, Guatemala/Village School) layup gave D'Youville the lead followed by a Brian Sharp (Newark, NY/Newark) three to extend the lead to four. Wells pulled back to within one point at 25-24, but Devon Camel (Cheektowaga, NY/Cheektowaga) pushed the lead back to four with five minutes to go in the half.
In the final four minutes of the first half, the Spartans began to take over on offense. Jagdeep Drumgoole (Rochester, NY/Early College) scored five points to go with four points from Darrius Hartzog (Rochester, NY/Wilson Magnet) to put D'Youville up by 10 going into halftime, leading 38-28.
The Spartans came aggressively on offense in the second half, outscoring Wells 16-4 in the first 5:26 of play to take a 54-32 lead. Wells made an effort to make a game of it, but the closest they would come to the D'Youville lead was 13. Past the 10-minute mark of the second, the Spartans had a firm grasp on the game.
D'Youville showed their depth as the game went on. Drumgoole had six consecutive points for the Spartans in just over 0:30 seconds, followed by baskets from Sharp and Steve Kunelius (Oswego, NY/Oswego). In the final 3:14 of play, Bryce Little (Arcade, NY/Pioneer) scored 10 points to clinch the game for D'Youville, defeating Wells 96-64.
"Our defensive depth was the key to this game," said head coach Earl Schunk. "We had a lot of different guys step up and take responsibility to stop their man from scoring. Also, our depth helped wear them down in the second half and we were able to get some transition baskets that helped us pull away."
Of the 16 players who saw time for the Spartans on Monday evening, 14 scored at least three points while four scored in double figures. The men had an excellent shooting night, going 50.8% from the field and 50.0% from three. Socha led the team in scoring with 14 and recorded a team high seven rebounds. Drumgoole added 13 points while Hartzog and Little each scored 10.
Coach Schunk was extremely pleased to see his team share the ball on offense but also put in work on the inside.
"It was also great to see the point distribution. Eleven different guys hit a three-pointer and our big guys did a great job when the ball went inside."
Bruce and Camel each had four assists to lead the team, while Haiden Ward (Bloomfield, NY/Bloomfield), Simeon Heard (Rochester, NY/Charles Finney), and Brian Nwaekeke (Corona, CA/John F. Kennedy) each had three assists in the game. Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden (Vernon, NY/Vernon-Verona-Sherrill) adding five points and a team high two steals. William Anderson (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) contributed three points while Tyreke Mims (Churchville, NY/Churchville-Chili) played solid minutes for the Spartans.
Following Thanksgiving break, the Spartans will head to RIT for the Harold J. Brodie Tournament on Saturday, November 25 to play RIT at 8:00pm.