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Men's Basketball Flirts With Upset, Falls In The Second Half To No. 7 Mercyhurst

Jared Sullivan at Mercyhurst on Feb. 12, 2021 (Edward Mailliard/Mercyhurst Athletics)
Jared Sullivan at Mercyhurst on Feb. 12, 2021 (Edward Mailliard/Mercyhurst Athletics)

For the second time this week, the D'Youville men's basketball program played a strong first half but couldn't put together a full performance, dropping the first of two non-conference tilts with No. 7 Mercyhurst, 90-56, on Friday evening at the Mercyhurst Athletic Center. 

Junior forward Jaeger Martino got the Saints on the board Friday evening with a layup off a baseline drive. Junior forward Garrian Wade stepped off the bus on fire for D'Youville, connecting on four of his first five attempts from the field. Wade's run included fastbreak layup and back-to-back threes, the first off an assist from freshman guard Mason Putnam and the second giving the Saints their first lead of the ballgame at 11-10. Mercy immediately countered with a 7-0 run to grab a 17-11 advantage. Later in the half, senior forward Grant Beyer got in on the scoring with a deep three from the left-wing and a long two from the top of the key, falling away from thbasket to bring the Saints to within one point of the Lakers at 17-16. A few minutes later, Beyer struck again from downtown and senior guard Brian Sharp joined the three-point parade, connecting from the right-side. The Saints and Lakers traded leads for the remainder of the halfAnother deep three from Wade grabbed a 25-24 lead and a steal from Putnam led to another bucket for Sharp, giving the Saints a two-point advantage with less than a minute to play. Turnovers plagued D'Youville all night and none was any bigger than D'Youville's final possession of the half, when Putnam lost control of the ball leading to a Laker three at the buzzer, putting the Saints behind for the rest of the night. 

The nationally-ranked Lakers flexed their muscles to open the final period of play, sprinting out of the locker room on a 21-5 scoring run, inflating their narrow halftime advantage to 19 points just over five-and-a-half minutes into the second half. The Saints had turned the ball over 27 times before the 10:00 mark of the second half. Back-to-back buckets from Beyer and Putnam was about the only offensive rhythm the Saints could muster up in the second half. By that time, the Lakers had already built a 76-49 advantage with 5:51 remaining. With his heels right up against the sideline, freshman forward Ryan D'Ali banked a long three from the left-wing. In his fourth D'Youville appearance, D'Ali's bucket was his first as a Saint. 

Notables – Two Saints posted double-figure scoring efforts: Wade (18 points, 5-8 FG) and Beyer (13 points, 5-8 FG) ... Sophomore forward Noah Denz paced the Saints on the glass, grabbing eight rebounds ... As a team, the Saints shot 52.2 percent (12-23 FG) from the field, including a 75.0 percent (4-6 3PT) clip from beyond the arc in the first half. D'Youville cooled down considerably in the final twenty minutes, shooting 37.5 percent on six-of-16 attempts.  

Four Lakers landed in double figures for scoring: guard Steve Cannady (19 points, 7-11 FG), guard MiyKah McIntosh (15 points, 6-17 FG), guard Michael Bradley (12 points, 5-9 FG), and forward Daniel Ogele (11 points, 2-4 FG) Ogele nearly posted a double-double, collecting nine rebounds in addition to his scoring total.  

Up Next – The Saints return to the Mercyhurst Athletic Center tomorrow to complete the weekend series with the Lakers at 2 p.m. Tune into tomorrow's non-conference battle on Portal.StretchInternet and follow the action through SIDEARM Live Stats. You can also follow this Sunday's matchup on Twitter (@DYOUVILLEMBB) and Instagram (@dycmbb).