Spartan Men Off to 2-0 Start with 79-74 Win versus Rose-Hulman on Opening Night of STJ Memorial Tournament

David Black (photo by Ryan Baker)
David Black (photo by Ryan Baker)

CLEVELAND – Freshman forward David Black (Avon Lake, Ohio/Saint Ignatius) scored a game-high 19 points, and the Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team defeated Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Ind.), 79-74, in front of a spirited home crowd on the opening night of the 2014 Stephanie Tubbs Jones Memorial Tournament at Horsburgh Gymnasium.

The Spartans improve to 2-0 and will play in the tournament championship game versus Wilmington College tomorrow evening at 7:00 p.m. The Fightin' Engineers lose their season opener and will play the State University of New York at Geneseo in tomorrow's consolation at 5:00 p.m.

Wilmington beat SUNY Geneseo, 83-81, earlier tonight.

Black shot 7-of-12 from the field and 5-of-8 from three-point range to lead four Spartans in double-figures. Twin brother Eric Black (Avon Lake, Ohio/Saint Ignatius) added 13 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Senior forward Dane McLoughlin (Westerville, Ohio/St. Charles Preparatory) and junior guard Matt Clark (St. Louis, Mo./St. Louis University) each scored 12. McLoughlin pulled to within 13 of 1,000 for his career, while Clark's output was a career high.

The early portion of the game was tightly contested, but the Spartans were able to move ahead 24-17 when David Black sunk a three-pointer with 8:04 left before halftime. By the end of the half, CWRU's advantage grew to 14, at 42-28, as Eric Black hit a mid-range jumper with just four seconds on the clock.

In the second half, Rose-Hulman battled back with a 12-5 run, cutting its deficit to 47-40 on a Corey Povaleri layup with 15:26 left to play. After the Spartans momentarily rebuilt their lead back to double-figures, the Engineers answered with six in a row to get within 50-46 on a Jimmy Miller tip-in at 13:01. Two more times within four followed for Rose-Hulman before a 7-0 spurt gave the visitors a 59-58 lead as Michael Hallstein hit two free throws with 8:21 remaining. That Rose-Hulman advantage would be the start of eight minutes of back-and-forth play full of momentum swings.  

The deciding moment came with CWRU ahead 73-72 with 43 seconds left to play as David Black took a pass from junior point guard Jimmy Holman (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) and nailed a three-pointer to put his team up by five.

Senior guard Julien Person (Paris, France/Second Baptist, Texas), who scored all nine of his points in the second half, hit three free throws in the final 19 seconds.

Holman finished the game with eight points, six assists and five rebounds. As a team, the Spartans blocked eight shots to run their two-game total to a whopping 17.

Five scored in double-digits for Rose-Hulman, led by Povaleri with 14. Jimmy Miller scored 11 with a game-high nine rebounds.

After tomorrow's game against the Quakers, the Spartans open a stretch of five in a row away from Cleveland with a 7:00 p.m. contest at Denison University on Tuesday, November 25 in Granville, Ohio.