Spartans Hang Tough, Fall Short at Division I Bucknell

Dane McLoughlin (photo by Llew Wenzel)
Dane McLoughlin (photo by Llew Wenzel)

LEWISBURG, Pa. – Despite playing even into the opening minutes of the second half, the Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team fell short at Division I Bucknell University, 88-65, on Friday at Sojka Pavilion.

The Spartans drop to 6-2 and are idle from competition until the Bill Sudeck Holiday Tournament at the end of the month. The Bison move to 5-6 and will return to action on December 22 at Wake Forest University.

The game was the first for CWRU against a Division I opponent since a 1989 matchup with Yale University.

Senior forward Dane McLoughlin (Westerville, Ohio/St. Charles Preparatory) scored 13 points and pulled down eight rebounds. The two-time All-University Athletic Association selection has 1,101 points in 82 career games played.

Senior guard Julien Person (Paris, France/Second Baptist, Texas) scored 11 and dished out four assists, while freshman forward David Black (Avon Lake, Ohio/Saint Ignatius) added 10 points and four rebounds.

The Bison placed four in double-figures led by Chris Hass and John Azzinaro with 19 and 15 points, respectively.

Both teams were effective from beyond the arc as Bucknell hit 13 three-pointers compared to 10 for the Spartans. The Bison held substantial leads in rebounding (45-31) and points in the paint (38-20).

The Spartans held strong with the Bison in the opening minutes and tied the score at 17 apiece when Black knocked down a triple at 12:03. Bucknell then scored six in a row as part of a 10-1 run which made the score 27-18 as Corey Starkey scored a layup with 8:36 left in the opening half.

Undaunted, the Spartans answered with a 10-0 spurt of their own to move ahead 28-27 with a McLoughlin jumper at the 5:45 mark. Then in a back-and-forth five minutes before halftime, the Bison outscored CWRU 11-8 to head into the locker room on top, 38-36.

In the second, the Spartans tied the score for the final time at 41-41 following a three-point play by McLoughlin with 19:09 remaining. The Bison then scored seven in a row to seize control as a Hass three-pointer made the score 48-41 at 17:45. Bucknell's advantage reached 13, at 60-47, after a Hass three-pointer at 14:37, then grew to 18, at 70-52, with a Nana Foulland layup at 9:19.

The Spartans play Geneva College (Pa.) to open the Bill Sudeck Holiday Tournament at 8:00 p.m. on Monday, December 29. The team will then play either Trine University (Ind.) or Saint Vincent College (Pa.) on Tuesday at 2:00 or 4:00 p.m.