Spartans Fall to Chicago on Last Second Shot, 74-72

Spartans Fall to Chicago on Last Second Shot, 74-72

Case Western Reserve University junior forward David Black hit a jumper in the paint with four seconds remaining to give the Spartans a one-point lead, but a three-pointer from the University of Chicago's Jake Fenlon as time expired gave the Maroons a 74-72 win over the Spartans on Friday night at historic Adelbert Gymnasium.

The Spartans, who honored the Western Reserve University Red Cats by wearing their traditional throwback uniforms on 'Throwback Weekend,' dropped to 5-12 overall with the loss, including 0-6 in the UAA.  Chicago raised its season record to 11-6 with a 3-3 conference mark.

The Spartans got out to a quick start in the game, surging to a 14-point lead when a three-pointer by freshman forward Sam Hansen put the Spartans out in front 29-15 with 6:43 to play in the first, capping off a 10-2 CWRU run.  Chicago would climb back into the game, cutting the lead back to a point, 34-33 with 2:48 remaining in the half.  However, the Spartans maintained their lead through the first half, heading into the locker room with a 41-37 advantage. 

Junior guard Colin Zucker and junior forward Eric Black each had a team-high 10 points in the first half to lead the Spartans, as the team shot 50.0% from the floor (14-for-28) and 46.2% from beyond the arc (six-of-13) through the first 20 minutes.

The second half proved to be a back-and-fourth affair with six ties and 13 lead changes, and neither team taking more than a four-point lead over the final 18 minutes of play.  Trailing 66-65 with 1:34 to play, freshman forward Connor Nally knocked down a three to give the Spartans the lead, but Chicago's Tyler Howard answered with a three of his own just 25 seconds late to put the Maroons back out in front.  With 24 seconds remaining, Zucker drove the lane and converted a layup, only to see Waller Perez give the Maroons the lead back again with a layup just 11 seconds later.

Coming off a timeout, David Black was able to knock down a jumper inside the paint of a Zucker assists with four seconds left, giving CWRU a one-point lead, 72-71.  With time running out, Chicago inbounded the ball past half court, calling a timeout with 3.1 seconds remaining.  Off the timeout, Fenlon received the inbound pass, stepping back and launching a three-point shot that found the bottom of the net as time ran out, giving Chicago the last-second victory.

Zucker and junior forward T.J. Duckett each finished the game with a team-leading 14 points, with Zucker dishing out a Spartan-best six assists, while David Black collected a team-high eight rebounds.  Hansen finished with 12 points, and Nally added 11, to round out the Spartans' scorers in double-figures.

Perez led all Chicago scorers with 17 points, while Blaine Crawford finished with a double-double, scoring 10 points and collecting 14 rebounds.

The Spartans will be back in action on Sunday, completing 'Throwback Weekend' with a game against eighth-ranked Washington University (Mo.) at Adelbert Gymnasium.  Tip-off is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.