A three-point shot with 3.9 seconds remaining from New York University's Joe Timmes proved to be the difference on Friday night, as the Case Western Reserve University Spartans dropped a 73-72 heartbreaker to the Violets in Manhattan, New York.
The loss dropped the Spartans to 0-2 in conference play and to 5-8 on the season, while NYU improved to 6-6 overall with a 1-1 conference ledger.
Junior forward David Black led all scorers in the game with a season-high 24 points, shooting eight-for-13 overall and three-for-seven from long range. Junior guard Colin Zucker added 12 points, converting four-of-eight three point shots in the game, and junior forward Eric Black scored nine points and led the team with nine rebounds. Freshman guard Darius Inzar contributed with a career-high eight points in the game, shooting three-for-five from the field.
The Spartans opened the game on a 9-0 run behind five points from David Black and four from junior forward T.J. Duckett in the first three and a half minutes of the game. NYU trimmed the lead back to two, 9-7, before a 15-5 run by the Spartans, capped by a layup by Inzar with 6:32 to play, gave Case Western Reserve a game-high 12-point advantage, 24-12. The Violets then launched a 12-0 run of their own over the next two minutes and 20 seconds to tie the game, and would take their first lead of the contest, 31-30, on a pair of free throws with 1:48 remaining in the half, before taking a 34-31 lead into halftime.
NYU would increase its lead to 10, 48-38, with 13:55 remaining in the game, before the Spartans' offense came alive. Zucker knocked down three three-pointers in a two-and a half minute stretch, the final one bringing the Spartans back within a point, 50-49, with 11:08 to play. The Spartans would tie the game on a free throw by Duckett with 10:22 left, and the take the lead, 52-50, on a put back by Duckett with 9:55 to play. The teams would continue to exchange leads over the next few minutes, before a 9-2 CWRU run, capped off by an Alvarez layup, gave the Spartans a 68-62 lead with 2:59 left.
NYU would chip away at the Spartans lead, and trailing 72-70 with 3.9 seconds left off a time out, Timmes was able to knock down the go-ahead three pointer from the corner, giving NYU its first lead since the 6:19 mark. Case Western Reserve had one final chance, but needing to drive the length of the court to score, was unable to get off a final shot.
The Spartans finished the game shooting 45.3% from the field, including a 53.8% mark in the second half. CWRU outscored NYU 32-18 in the paint, and held a 12-4 edge in second chance points.
Timmes led NYU with 19 points in the game, with Cameron Moore adding 14 and Ross Udine 12 for the Violets.
Case Western Reserve will wrap-up a three-game road stretch to start their conference schedule on Sunday, January 15th, when the Spartans take on Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Tip-off on Sunday is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.