Behind 17 points apiece from sophomore forward Eric Black and senior guard Matt Clark, the Case Western Reserve University Spartans picked up an 84-80 win at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts on Friday night.
The win ended a four-game skid for the Spartans, who improved to 2-4 in University Athletic Association play and got back above .500 overall with a 9-8 record for the campaign. Brandeis dropped to 8-9 overall with a 2-4 UAA mark.
Case Western Reserve shot 49.3 from the field in the game, including a blistering 57.1% (16-for-28) in the second half.
Eric Black shot seven-for-11 from the field overall, including four-for-five in the second half, and added 10 rebounds in the game to pick up his second-straight double-double, and his third overall this season. Clark finished the game with a team-best six assists and five steals, and added six rebounds. Making his first career start, sophomore guard Colin Zucker added 12 points in the game for CWRU.
Brandeis scored the first two baskets of the game to take a 4-0 lead, but the Spartans launched a 13-3 run to take a 13-7 lead with 14:56 to play in the half. Three pointers by freshman Michael White and sophomore Jake Lavis, followed by a dunk by Eric Black, put CWRU up by nine, 21-12 with 12:26 left in the period. However, a 9-1 run by Brandeis tied the game, 22-22, at the 9:01 mark.
CWRU regained a five-point lead after a steal by Clark turned into a fastbreak three-pointer for junior Javier Alvarez, putting the Spartans ahead 33-28 with 5:23 remaining. Brandeis battled back to go out in front 40-38 with 2:21 to play, giving the Judges their first lead since the opening minutes of the game. The Spartans would finish the period strong, regaining the lead on a Clark three-pointer with 1:26 to play, and headed into the break with a one-point edge, 45-44 over the Judges.
Clark led all players in the first half with 11 points, five assists and three steals, and Eric Black chipped in seven points and seven rebounds. CWRU forced 16 Brandeis turnovers in the first 20 minutes of the game, scoring 17 points off Brandeis mishaps.
Eric Black got the Spartans off to a strong start in the second half, scoring the first seven points of the half for the Spartans. CWRU would eventually build a 12-point lead with 9:53 remaining, after a Zucker three put the team on top 73-61.
The Judges would erode the Spartans' lead, cutting it to a one-possession game, 83-80, with just under a minute left. Brandeis had a chance to tie late, but sophomore David Black drew an offensive foul against Robinson Vilmont with 30 seconds left to force a key turnover. David Black would get fouled and convert a key free throw with 21.6 remaining, securing the win for the Spartans.
John Powell led all Brandeis scorers with 16 points, with Vilmont adding 15.
Case Western Reserve will wrap-up its four-game UAA road trip on Sunday, when the team travels to New York University for a 12:00 p.m. game against the 22nd-ranked Violets.