Spartans Fall to Brooklyn in Stephanie Tubbs Jones Championship Game, 92-79

Spartans Fall to Brooklyn in Stephanie Tubbs Jones Championship Game, 92-79

Case Western Reserve University dropped its first game of the season, falling 92-79 in the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Memorial Tournament Championship game to Brooklyn College at Horsburgh Gymnasium on Saturday night.

The loss drops the Spartans to 1-1 on the year, while Brooklyn improved to 2-0.

Spartans' senior Jimmy Holman was named to the All-Tournament Team, after scoring 31 points during the two games.  On Saturday night, he led the squad with 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the field, including a five-for-seven day from long range, while collecting four assists.

Brooklyn's Egzon Gjonbalaj was named the Tournament's Most Valuable Player, and was joined on the All-Tournament team by teammate Lorenzo Williams, along with third-place Goucher's Kevin Miles and fourth-place RIT's Miguel Lopez.

In the first half of Saturday's game, the Spartans saw their lead swell to six points twice in the early going on three pointers by sophomore forward David Black, one at the 18:26 mark to take an 8-2 lead, and the second with 15:10 left in the first half to push the advantage to 14-8.  However, Brooklyn would battle back, taking its first lead, 27-26, on an Enees Nikovic layup with 5:49 left to play.  CWRU regained a two-point lead with 2:51 to play in the half, but a late rally by the Bulldogs gave them a four point edge, 37-33, heading into halftime.

Senior guard Matt Clark paced the Spartans through the first half with six points and seven rebounds, with David Black and Holman each adding six points.

Holman hit a three-point shot to start the second half and cut the lead to one early, but Brooklyn had an answer, scoring 14 of the next 18 points to take an 11 point lead over the Spartans, 56-45 with 14:53 left in the game.  CWRU responded with a 9-1 run, cutting the lead down to three on a David Black layup with 11:29 to play. 

Brooklyn built its lead back to nine points with 8:31 left on the clock, but another Spartan rally, this time keyed by five points on two-consecutive possessions from sophomore Colin Zucker brought CWRU back to within two, 73-71, with 6:04 left in the second half. 

However, that would be as close as the Spartans would get the remainder of the game.  CWRU made one last run, cutting the Bulldogs' lead from seven to three with layups by Eric Black and Zucker with 3:35 to play, but Brooklyn finished the game on a 12-2 run to secure the victory.

Zucker ended the game with a career-high 15 points on five-of-nine shooting from the field, with David Black adding 12.  Clark rounded out the team's double-digit scorers with 10 points to go along with eight rebounds.

Williams paced the Bulldogs with 26 points for the day, while Egzon Gjonbalaj (24 points, 12 rebounds) and Edon Gjonbalaj (10 points, 12 rebounds) each tallied double-doubles.

Case Western Reserve will be back in action on Tuesday, November 17th, making the trip across town to face Baldwin Wallace College at 8:00 p.m.