Balanced Attack Key as Spartan Men Earn Throwback Weekend Win versus Chicago, 64-61

Julien Person throws down a dunk in the first half. (photo by Ryan Baker)
Julien Person throws down a dunk in the first half. (photo by Ryan Baker)

CLEVELAND – Seven players scored at least seven points, and two reached double figures as the Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team opened Throwback Weekend with a 64-61 win versus the University of Chicago (Ill.) in University Athletic Association action on Friday night at Horsburgh Gymnasium.  

The Spartans (9-8, 2-4 UAA) snap a four-game slide and return to action this Sunday, January 27 versus No. 24 nationally-ranked Washington University-St. Louis (Mo.) at 11:00 a.m. at Horsburgh. With the loss, the Maroons fall to 8-9 and 2-4 in conference play.

As part of CWRU's eighth annual Throwback Weekend, the Spartans donned uniforms commemorating the Western Reserve University Red Cats.

Sophomore forward Dane McLoughlin (Westerville, Ohio/St. Charles Preparatory) and junior guard Tim Chung (Cypress, Calif./Los Alamitos) off the bench each scored 12 to pace the Spartan attack. Sophomore guard Julien Person (Houston, Texas/Second Baptist) added nine points, eight rebounds and four assists.

The Maroons started the opening three minutes of the first half on a 6-0 run before sophomore forward Brian Klements (Willoughby Hills, Ohio/Willoughby South) converted a three-point play that turned the momentum in the Spartans' favor. Person then took charge with four-straight points, including a two-hand slam, to give Case its first lead of 9-8 at the 14:35 mark.

From there, the Spartans led for the next five minutes, but five lead changes followed in the next five possessions, and Chicago led 21-20 when Sam Gage hit a layup at 7:06. Undaunted, Case responded with a 13-2 run that made the score 33-23 and culminated in a layup from senior forward Austin Fowler (Farmington Hills, Mich./Birmingham Brother Rice)  with 4:31 left before the break. The 10-point advantage was the largest of the first half, and the Maroons were only able to trim two off of their deficit as Case went into the locker room with a 33-25 lead.

In the second, the Spartans got back-to-back three-pointers from Person and McLoughlin to open the half. Just over two minutes later, the hosts built their largest lead of the night, 17, off a Fowler triple that made the score 44-27 with 16:06 left to play.

However, the Maroons refused to go away and utilized a 12-0 run later in the period to regain the lead at 61-60 as Jordan Smith hit a jumper with 2:32 remaining. A costly Maroon technical foul on the next possession led to a pair of McLoughlin free throws that put Case back on top 62-61 at 2:15. The Spartans never relinquished the lead from that point, and a crucial bucket by junior center David Thompson (Plano, Texas/Plano Senior) increased the advantage to three with 1:23 left on the clock. Chicago had one final chance to tie the game, but a three-pointer was missed with three seconds remaining, and Person secured the game-clinching rebound.

On Sunday, the Spartans will wear Case Institute of Technology Rough Riders uniforms versus Washington-St. Louis. Following that game, the Spartans head back out for a two-game road trip in Chicago and St. Louis next Friday and Sunday, February 1-3.