CLEVELAND – Sophomore forward Dane McLoughlin (Westerville, Ohio/St. Charles Preparatory) scored a career-high 32 points, and senior forward Austin Fowler (Farmington Hills, Mich./Birmingham Brother Rice) recorded his third double-double of the season with 26 points and a career-high 17 rebounds as the Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team earned a 101-99 double overtime win versus Alma College (Mich.) during the opening night of the 2012 Bill Sudeck Holiday Classic inside Horsburgh Gymnasium.
The Spartans improve to 6-4 overall and will wrap up the weekend and the non-conference portion of the season tomorrow evening versus Albion College (Mich.) at 6:00 p.m. Of note, Case's last 100-point scoring output came in a 102-56 victory versus Denison University on December 1, 2007.
The Scots move to 4-6 and will play the University of Chicago at 4:00 p.m. tomorrow. Chicago defeated Albion, 66-49, in tonight's opening game.
McLoughlin shot 11-of-16 from the field, including 4-of-5 from three-point range. Fowler, who has 13 career double-doubles, now has 979 points in his Spartan career. Prior to transferring to Case as a sophomore, Fowler scored 22 markers at Division I Saint Francis University (Pa.).
In the first half, Case grabbed its first lead of 9-6 with a Fowler three-pointer at 16:40, and a jumper two possessions later by McLoughlin capped a 9-0 run that made the score 13-6 with 15:45 remaining in the period. Alma then cut its deficit to three on three occasions, including at 20-17, following an Isiah Law triple at 9:08, but the Spartans answered with a 9-2 run and led by a high of 29-19 after a three-pointer from sophomore guard Ken Gibbons (Cairnbrook, Pa./Shade) at 7:06.
Refusing to go away, the Scots held Case scoreless for the next 4:35 and battled back with a 14-0 run of their own to lead 33-29 as DJ Beckman closed the streak with a three at 2:51. The four-point lead would hold for the duration of the half, and the visitors went into the break with a 35-31 advantage.
In the second, Alma built its largest lead of seven when Greg Silverthorn canned a triple to make the score 40-33 with 18:36 left to play. Case came right back with a 9-2 run and tied the score at 42-42 at the 14:40 mark to open a span of 5:21 that saw seven lead changes and two ties. Then trailing 52-51, the Spartans moved back ahead with an 8-0 run that culminated in a McLoughlin jumper with 8:04 left to play. Alma scored the next six to pull within two, at 59-57, following a Brandon Krause triple at 7:22, but an "old-fashioned" three-point play by Fowler on the following possession put the momentum back in the hosts corner with 7:22 remaining.
The Scots once again refused to fold and pulled to within one, 68-67, when Chris Williamson hit a jumper with 2:22 left on the clock. However, the Spartans picked up a key three from sophomore guard Julien Person (Houston, Texas/Second Baptist) at 2:02 that seemed to give the hosts a firm grip on the game.
Undaunted, Alma got a free throw from Brian Sheridan at 1:02 then sent the game to overtime when Beckman nailed another triple with 26 ticks on the clock.
In the first extra period, each side hit a three to open the scoring before McLoughlin knocked down his second triple of overtime at 4:01 and was fouled en route to a four-point play that made the score 78-74. After an Alma bucket by Beckman at 2:07, Case once again looked to have control when sophomore point guard Jordan Dean (St. Johns, Fla./Creekside) scored his first points of the game on a three-pointer with 1:36 left on the clock. Dean would later hit two key free throws at 00:24, as did McLoughlin at 00:14 to put the Spartans ahead by three. However, the Scots found more three-point magic from Jacob Murawske to force a second overtime.
In double OT, the game was tied at 94-94 following key buckets from each side, but Case moved ahead by three when junior guard Tim Chung (Cyrpress, Calif./Los Alamitos) hit a three-pointer at 2:18. The lead later moved to 99-95 when Dean drove to the bucket for two at 00:16, and the Spartans were able to hit free throws down the stretch to secure the win.
For the game, Alma placed four players in double-figures led by Beckman and Law with 24 and 17 points, respectively.
Following tomorrow's tournament finale, the Spartans are idle until the 2013 University Athletic Association opener at rival Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.) on Saturday, January 5 at 5:00 p.m. in Pittsburgh.