CWRU Defeats Emory Behind Clark’s Record-Setting Performance

CWRU Defeats Emory Behind Clark’s Record-Setting Performance

In the final home game of his collegiate career, Case Western Reserve University senior guard Matt Clark tied a school record with seven three pointers and scored a career-high 33 points, to lead the Spartans to an 88-78 win over the first-place team in the University Athletic Association, Emory University, at Horsburgh Gymnasium on Sunday afternoon.

With one game remaining this season, the Spartans improved to 11-13 overall, with a 4-8 UAA ledger for the campaign.  Emory, which remained in a tie for first in the conference despite the loss, dropped to 17-7 overall with a 10-3 UAA record.

Clark connected on seven of his 10 three-point attempts on Sunday to match the school record originally set by former Spartan Dane McLoughlin against Emory during the 2012-13 season, and equaled by McLoughlin last season against Washington University.  Clark connected on nine-of-17 shots overall, and hit all eight of his free throw attempts, while adding five rebounds, two steals and a block.

It marked the second-straight game that Clark has improved on his career-scoring high, after the senior tallied 28 points against Rochester on Friday night.  He became the first Spartan to score at least 30 points in a game since Julien Person on January 26, 2014 against Chicago, and notched the most points in a game by a CWRU player since Austin Fowler scored 33 against Carnegie Mellon on February 23, 2013.

As a team, the Spartans shot 50.0% from three-point range, hitting 15-of-30 from beyond the arc.  Case Western Reserve, which never trailed in Sunday's game, utilized a pair of threes from Clark and one from sophomore Colin Zucker to take a 9-2 lead over the Eagles just three minutes and 21 seconds into the game.  Following a layup by Adam Gigax, Emory trimmed the lead to a point, 13-12, by the 12:24 mark.  However, paced by four more threes and 14 points from Clark, the Spartans went on a 23-4 run over the next 6:17 to take a 36-16 lead, their largest of the day, with 5:39 remaining in the period.  The Eagles would not go away though, closing out the half on a 15-2 run to pull back within seven by the break, 38-31.

The Spartans' hot shooting continued into the second half, with the team converting 63.4% (seven-of-11) of its three-point attempts, its highest percentage from long range in a half this season.  A pair of three-pointers by Clark helped CWRU's lead climb back to 13, 48-35, by the 17:12 mark.  Emory closed the gap, pulling back within a point on an Austin DaGue jumper with 6:43 remaining, but an 8-2 CWRU run, keyed by three-pointers from senior Jimmy Holman and sophomore David Black, pushed the advantage back to seven with 5:29 to play.  The Eagles remained within reach, before back-to-back threes from Zucker and Holman gave CWRU an 80-71 edge with 1:34 to play, securing the win for the Spartans.

Holman added 16 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Spartans, while Zucker contributed with 14 points on the day.  Sophomore forward T.J. Duckett came off the bench to score seven points and collect a team-best nine rebounds.

Will Trawick led all Emory players with 19 points and 10 rebounds, with Davis Rao scoring 14 and Adam Gigax 13.

The Spartans will wrap-up their 2015-16 season next Saturday, February 27th, when the team travels to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to take on Carnegie Mellon University.  The opening tip of the contest is scheduled for a 5:00 p.m. start.