The Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team will look to carry the momentum of back-to-back wins into the start of its conference schedule, when the Spartans travel to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to face the Carnegie Mellon University Tartans at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 7th.
Live Stats: http://athletics.case.edu/sports/mbkb/2016-17/boxscores/20170107_owal.xml
UAA Weekend Schedule
Saturday, January 7th
12:00 PM: Emory (9-2) at #4 Rochester (11-0)
3:00 PM: NYU (5-5) at Brandeis (3-6)
4:00 PM: #24 Washington U. (8-3) at Chicago (8-3)
Case Western Reserve has won back-to-back games, and will enter Saturday's matchup with a 5-6 overall record, including a 2-2 mark in true road contests during the year. The Spartans have scored 72.5 points per game this season on 42.7% shooting from the field overall and 35.8% from long range, while allowing 75.8 points per contest. The Spartans have averaged 40.3 rebounds per game, 5.2 more than their opponents, with a -4.5 turnover margin.
The Spartans have been led by junior forward T.J. Duckett, who is averaging a double-double this season with 15.1 points and 10.0 rebounds and has shot 60.0% from the field (the 43rd-best mark in DIII). Other CWRU players averaging double-figure point totals this season include junior forward David Black (10.5 points, 4.5 rebounds), junior guard Colin Zucker (10.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 48.1 3PT%), and senior guard Javier Alvarez (10.3 points, 5.5 assists. 1.9 steals). Freshman forward Sam Hansen (6.1 points, 40.4 3PT%) has rounded out the Spartans' starting lineup, while junior forward Eric Black (8.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.6 blocks) and freshman forward Connor Nally (2.9 points, 47.4 3PT%) have each been key factors off the bench for CWRU.
The Spartans are under the leadership of Todd McGuinness, who is in his first year with the Spartans after going 114-72 during his previous seven seasons as the Head Coach of Hartwick. McGuinness is assisted by Rudy Kirbus, Liz Hornberger, Kelly Blair and Eric Klinedinst.
Carnegie Mellon Tartans
Carnegie Mellon will enter Saturday's game with a 6-5 overall record, including a 5-1 home mark this year, and is coming off an 89-66 home victory over SUNY Brockport on Monday. The team has scored 72.9 points per game on 44.4% shooting from the field and 32.3% from long range, while allowing 66.5 points per contest. The Tartans have averaged 45.5 rebounds per game, 13.8 more per game than their opponents (the second-best margin in DIII), and have a -3.4 turnover margin.
The Tartans' lineup features three players who are averaging double-figures this season, led by senior forward Jack Serbin, who is fourth in the conference with 16.0 points per game and leads all UAA players with 11.2 rebounds per contest. Serbin has added 1.9 blocks per game, trailing only teammate and senior center Chris Shkil in the UAA ranks, who has added 13.9 points and 8.4 rebounds. Junior guard Ryan Maha has added 12.7 points per game during the campaign.
Now in his 29th season as a collegiate head coach, which includes a two-year stop at the University of the South, Tony Wingen has compiled a 318-392 overall record, including a mark of 297-364 during his 27 seasons at the Tartans' helm. He is assisted by Jeff VanGorder.
The Spartans are 39-33 in the all-time series against Carnegie Mellon, including wins in five of the last six matchups and four-straight wins in Pittsburgh. Last season, CWRU topped the Tartans 94-81 in the first meeting of the year behind 24 points from Javier Alvarez and 10 points and seven rebounds from T.J. Duckett. The Spartans then completed the season sweep of Carnegie Mellon with a 93-87 win on the final day of the regular season, paced by 17 points from Colin Zucker, 14 points from David Black and 10 points and eight rebounds from Duckett.
CWRU's Javier Alvarez is leading the conference in both total minutes player (381) and minutes played per game (34:38). Alvarez also ranks 34th in DIII in assists per game (5.5) and 34th in total assists (60).
Duckett on the Offensive Glass
T.J. Duckett currently leads all UAA players and is 18th among all NCAA Division III players with 4.09 offensive rebounds per game. Duckett is 42nd in Division III in total rebounds (110) and 48th in rebounds per game, while his four double-doubles this season are 74th among DIII players and the third-most in the UAA.
Case Western Reserve won both of their games at the Sponaugle New Year's Tournament, topping Penn-State Harrisburg 67-65 and host Franklin and Marshall 75-66 to win the tournament championship… The Spartans overcame a 15-point second-half deficit in the win over Franklin and Marshall, marking their largest comeback of the season to win a game… The nine-point margin of victory was the Spartans' largest this season… Colin Zucker was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament after averaging 15.0 points per game over the two wins, including 20 points in the championship game… Freshman forward Connor Nally was named to the All-Tournament Team, after scoring 10 points in the second half of the championship game, helping the Spartans to the team title… The Spartans have won their conference-opening game in each of the last four seasons… T.J. Duckett is on pace for the third-best single-season field goal percentage in program history, and his career 54.5 shooting percentage is fifth in CWRU history… David Black ranks 14th in school history with 107 three pointers made, and is three shy of Carson Oren (2002-06) for 13th, four shy of Jim Fox (1993-97) for 12th, and nine shy of Jimmy Holman (2012-16) for 11th… Zucker's 48.1% mark from three-point range this year ranks as the fourth-best in school history, and his 41.4% career mark is the third-best ever by a Spartan… Eric Black moved into ninth-place in school history with 60 career blocks, and is 12 behind both Leighton McCoy (1989-91, 92-94) and Dave Lenzer (2001-05) for seventh-place in program history.