Spartans Fall Victim to Late Wash U. Rally in 107-98 Loss

Spartans Fall Victim to Late Wash U. Rally in 107-98 Loss

Case Western Reserve University senior guard Matt Clark scored 21 of his 26 points in the second half on Friday night, but a late run by Washington University (Mo.) propelled the Bears to a 107-98 win over the Spartans in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Spartans dropped to 10-11 overall with the loss, including a 3-8 mark in the University Athletic Association, while Wash U. raised its overall record to 11-10, with a 3-8 UAA ledger.

Clark shot nine-for-16 from the field and added five rebounds and five assists, while falling just a point shy of matching his career high.  Sophomore forward David Black scored 18 of his 20 points in the first half, and sophomore guard Colin Zucker added 14 points in the game.

Wash U. jumped out to an early 10-point lead in the game, jumping on top 18-8 with 14:55 to play in the first half.  Sophomore T.J. Duckett converted a layup and one, followed by a layup by Javier Alvarez off a steal by Michael White, cutting the Bears' lead to five with 14:09 to play, but Wash U. would respond by pushing its lead to 11, 35-24, with 5:56 to play in the first.  David Black knocked down back-to-back threes to trim the advantage back to five, and a layup and one by Clark cut it to a four-point game, 37-33, with 4:19 remaining in the first.  The Bears regained an eight point lead following a layup by Sasha Sobolev at the 3:17 mark, but the Spartans closed out the period on an 11-1 run, taking their first lead of the game, 45-44, on a David Black three with 1:20 remaining.  After a free throw tied the game, Eric Black hit a free throw with time expiring in the half to give CWRU a 47-45 lead heading into the halftime break.

The Spartans shot 53.1% (17-for-32) from the field in the first half, including 7-for-14 from beyond the arc.  David Black highlighted CWRU's first half performance, knocking down five-of-seven shots from the field, including four-of-six attempts from long range.

A pair of three pointers by Zucker early in the second half helped spur a 15-7 run to start the frame for the Spartans that saw the team take its largest lead of the game, 62-52, at the 15:59 mark.  A 9-4 run by the Bears pulled them back within two points, 66-64, with 13:11 to play, but CWRU extended its lead back to seven following Duckett's second dunk of the game with 8:33 to play.

The Bears continued to chip away at the Spartans' lead, cutting the advantage to a point, 81-80, after a 6-0 run with 6:18 remaining.  A long three from senior forward Spencer Boyd boosted the lead back to four, but back-to-back threes from Luke Silverman-Lloyd and Kevin Kucera gave Washington its first lead of the half, 86-84, with 4:51 left.  Senior guard Jimmy Holman answered with a long-range shot of his own to give the Spartans the lead back, before another Bears' three, this time from Jake Knupp, gave Wash U. the lead again, this time for good.

Clark would score the Spartans' final 11 points of the game, but it would not be enough, as Washington closed the game on a 27-11 run, extending its lead to as many as nine points in the closing minutes.

The Spartans connected on 15-of-33 three-point attempts in the game, falling just two shy of matching the conference record for three-pointers in a UAA contest.  The two teams combined for 25 three-pointers made, also two shy of the UAA single game record.

Washington's David Schmelter finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds, while Kucera added 23 points, seven assists and five rebounds for the Bears.  Andrew Sanders added a double-double of his own with 17 points and a game-high 16 boards.

The Spartans will be back in action on Sunday, February 14th, when the travels to the University of Chicago for a 1:00 p.m. meeting with the Maroons.