CWRU Men’s Basketball Edged by NYU on Sunday, 80-79

CWRU Men’s Basketball Edged by NYU on Sunday, 80-79

The Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team overcame an 11-point deficit late in the second half on Sunday afternoon, but ultimately fell short against New York University, dropping an 80-79 decision to the Violets at historic Adelbert Gymnasium.

Spartans sophomore Jake Lavis scored 12 of his career high 18 points in the second half, including 10 in the final 6:30 of the game to spur the CWRU comeback.  Lavis shot six-for-10 from the field, including four-of-six from long range, and collected five rebounds.  Senior Jimmy Holman added 15 points, and senior Matt Clark finished the game with 13 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals.

NYU's Evan Kupferberg finished the game with 20 points and 12 rebounds to pace five NYU players in double-digits for the game.  Patrick Burns added 15, with Costis Gontikas chipping in 14.

CWRU jumped out to an early advantage in Sunday's game, taking a 13-9 lead following a three pointer by Lavis with 14:31 to play in the first half.  However, a 16-3 run by the Violets over the next three minutes gave NYU a 25-16 advantage by the 11:33 mark.  The Spartans responded with a run of their own, holding the Violets without a field goal over the next five minutes, and eventually taking a  36-24 lead after a Clark three-pointer with 3:22 left.  However, NYU would close out the half on an 8-0 run, as CWRU trailed by six, 42-36, at halftime.

The Spartans quickly tied the game in the second half, overcoming the six-point deficit with back-to-back threes from Holman and David Black to tie the score at 42-42.  Another three pointer by Colin Zucker at the 17:09 mark gave CWRU its first lead of the half, 47-46.  The Spartans led 54-52 following a layup by Javier Alvarez with 13:12 remaining, before a 15-4 NYU run gave the Violets their largest lead of the game, 69-58 with 7:13 to play.

The Spartans quickly climbed back into the game, after a free throw by senior Spencer Boyd and back-to-back fastbreak layups by Lavis brought CWRU back within six, 69-63 with 6:10 left.  Kupferberg knocked down a layup to push the lead back to eight, but a 9-0 Spartans run, including a three-pointer by Alvarez that put the team out in front with 3:33 left, gave the CWRU its largest lead of the half, 74-71, with 2:57 remaining.

NYU regained a two-point lead with 1:13 remaining after a pair of second-chance baskets for Burns, and a free throw by Max Ralby.  A three-pointer by Lavis with 54 seconds remaining gave CWRU a lead again, 77-76, but a Gontikas layup with 28 seconds to play pushed NYU in front, this time for good.

Trailing by three with seven seconds left, the Spartans had one last chance to tie the game, but a three-point attempt at the buzzer from Holman just missed the mark.

The Spartans connected on 13 of their 31 three-point attempts to finish the game shooting 41.9% from beyond the arc.  CWRU also held a 33-10 advantage over NYU in points off the bench in the game.

With the loss, Case Western Reserve fell to 10-10 with a 3-6 UAA ledger, while NYU improved to 17-3 with a 6-3 conference mark.

The Spartans will hit the road next weekend to face Washington University (Mo.) and the University of Chicago.  CWRU will kick off the road trip against the Bears at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, February 12th in St. Louis, Missouri.