Men’s Basketball Suffers Second-Straight OT Loss in 86-79 Setback to Centre

Men’s Basketball Suffers Second-Straight OT Loss in 86-79 Setback to Centre

The Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team dropped its second-straight overtime game on Friday afternoon, falling to Centre College 86-79 in the consolation game of the 2016 Bill Sudeck Holiday Tournament at Horsburgh Gymnasium in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Spartans dropped to 3-6 overall, while the Colonels improved to 5-5 on the year with the win.  SUNY Geneseo (8-3) claimed the tournament championship with an 80-59 win in the title game later in the day over runner-up Bethany College (6-5).

Case Western Reserve junior forward David Black scored a season-high 23 points on Friday, and averaged 21 points over the two tournament games to earn a spot on the All-Tournament Team.  SUNY Geneseo's John Decker was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, while the Knights' Justin Ringen, Bethany's Calique Jones and Centre's Tucker Sine each joined Black on the All-Tournament Team.

The Spartans jutted out to an early lead in the game, carrying a seven-point advantage, 44-37, into the halftime break behind a strong effort from long range, and leading by as many as 10 during the period.  Case Western Reserve connected on seven-of-its 10 shots from three-point range, including a three-for-four effort from Eric Black, and a two-for-two performance from junior guard Colin Zucker.  By the end of the first half, Zucker had connected on 10-consecutive three point attempts, spanning the team's last three games.

However, the Spartans were unable to maintain their pace from long range, shooting just three-of-18 from beyond the arc the remainder of the game.  After increasing their lead to eight following a three-pointer by senior guard Javier Alvarez with 17:37 remaining in the second half, Centre chipped away at the Spartans' advantage, eventually taking the lead on a three-pointer by Art Walker with 11:45 to play.  The teams would exchange leads nine more times over the remainder of regulation, before a free throw by Alvarez with 39 seconds remaining tied the game at 74 apiece.  Both teams had chances to take the lead in the closing seconds, but neither would score the go-ahead bucket, sending the game into overtime.

The Spartans would never lead in overtime, and Centre's Bailey Rakes and Sine each connected on three pointers early in the period, while the Colonels connected on all six of their free throw attempts in overtime to secure the win.

In addition to Black's team-leading 23 points on a seven-of-15 shooting effort, junior forward T.J. Duckett added 18 points and eight rebounds on an eight-of-13 performance from the field.  Alvarez added 10 points and seven rebounds in the game.

Leading the way for Centre was Sine, who paced all scorers with 33 points during Friday's game.

The Spartans will look to bounce back quickly, as the team will head to Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for the Sponaugle New Years Tournament on January 2nd and 3rd.  The Spartans will open play at the tournament on Monday at 5:30 p.m. against Penn State – Harrisburg.