Spartan Men Unable to Complete Comeback versus Washington & Jefferson

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team had the ball with seven seconds left and a chance to force overtime but could not complete a ferocious second-half comeback, falling by a final score of 57-55 versus Washington & Jefferson College (PA) on the first day (Friday, November 19) of the 2010 Stephanie Tubbs Jones Memorial Tournament at Horsburgh Gymnasium.

The Spartans fall to 1-1 for the season and will meet Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (IN) in tomorrow's consolation matchup at 5:00 p.m. Washington & Jefferson improved to 2-0 and will meet Wilmington College in the tourney championship at 7:00 p.m.

Senior guard Reid Anderson (Avon Lake, OH/Avon Lake) poured in 18 points to lead Case, but was trumped by a trio of Presidents in double-figures. W&J received 19 points from
Zach Bellhy, 18 from Paul Matthews and 11 from Ben Cecchini.

Spartan junior forward Tom Summers (Murrysville, PA/Franklin Regional) led all players with 11 rebounds and added seven points for Case, which shot just 26.1 percent in the first half and trailed by 17 at intermission. 

The Spartans began their furious comeback in the second half, creeping back to within nine points with 10:22 to play following a three-pointer by freshman guard Tim Chung (Cypress, CA/Los Alamitos). After whittling two more points off the lead, Matthews buried a three to put the President lead back at 10 before Anderson answered at the 7:37 mark with a trey of his own.

W&J managed to work the advantage back to nine after two Bellhy free throws, but Anderson and freshman guard Mike Byrne (Newton, PA/Holy Ghost) both drained three-pointers within 23 seconds of each other to bring the Spartans all the way back to a three point deficit at 55-52.

Bellhy all but sealed the W&J win with a layup in transition and only 19 seconds remaining, but Summers hit on his first three point attempt of the season to make it a two point game (57-55) with 14 ticks left. Summers then forced a steal on the Presidents' next possession to give Case a chance, but a potential tying shot was missed in traffic, giving the visitors the win.

After concluding tournament play tomorrow against the Fightin' Engineers, the Spartans will hit the road for the first time in 2010 to take on Denison University on Tuesday, November 23 at 7:00 p.m.