Clutch Shooting McLoughlin Leads Spartans to Sixth-Straight Win, 79-76, versus Kalamazoo
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Freshman forward Dane McLoughlin (Westerville, Ohio/St. Charles Preparatory) scored a career-high 24 points, including 16 in the final 6:51, as the Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team won its sixth-consecutive game by a score of 79-76 versus Kalamazoo College (Mich.) on Monday evening at Horsburgh Gymnasium.
The Spartans improve to 7-2 overall, the team's best start since the 2007-08 campaign. Case is also one win shy of tying the 2005-06 squad for the best 10-game start (8-2) in school history.
Kalamazoo drops to 3-4 overall.
McLoughlin's 24 points came on 8-of-12 shooting from the field and 5-of-6 from beyond the arc. Senior forward Tom Summers (Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional) recorded his second-straight double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, sophomore center David Thompson (Plano, Texas/Plano Senior) totaled 14 points and eight boards, and freshman point guard Jordan Dean (St. Johns, Fla./Creekside) turned in career-bests of eight points and eight assists.
The early portion of the first half was tightly contested until Case opened a nine-point lead as freshman guard Ken Gibbons (Cairnbrook, Pa./Shade) nailed a three-pointer to make the score 26-17 at the 9:11 mark. Kalamazoo came back and grabbed a one-point lead with a 13-4 run, capped by a pair of Adam Peters free throws, making the score 31-30 with 4:08 left in the half. The Spartans were then able to regain control and ended the half on a 10-5 run to lead 40-36 at the break.
In the second half, the Hornets opened on a 7-0 run and led 43-40 as Joe Prepolec hit a jumper at 17:31. The Spartans came back with a 7-0 spurt of their own and moved ahead by four when Thompson threw down a dunk at 15:19. Kalamazoo refused to go away and tied the score six times more times, the sixth coming when Mark Ghafari hit a triple to make the score 71-71 with 1:21 remaining. Undaunted, McLoughlin nailed another three-pointer with 49 seconds left to put Case on top 74-71. From there, McLoughlin hit three free throws down the stretch and Dean hit a pair to counter five more points from the Hornets.
Prepolec led all scorers with a game-high 27 points.
The Spartans are idle for final exams and the Christmas holiday, but will return to action on Thursday and Friday, December 29-30 as hosts of the annual Bill Sudeck Holiday Tournament. Case opens versus Waynesburg University (Pa.) at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday.