Freshman Ignas Masiulionis and senior T.J. Duckett each tallied double-doubles, and freshman Antonio Ionadi scored a team-leading 20 points in his collegiate debut, but it was not enough for the Spartans who fell in an double-overtime thriller to Frostburg State University, 115-107, during the opening day of the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Memorial Tournament on Friday night at Horsburgh Gymnasium in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Spartans will now take on Greenville University in the consolation game on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. Greenville suffered a 119-114 setback to Montclair State University in the first game of the tournament. The Red Hawks will face the Bobcats for the tournament championship at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Six Spartans scored in double figures in the game, and newcomers to the team accounted for 60 total points in the game. Masiulionis shot seven-of-20 from the floor, scoring 19 points and adding four assists and a block, while Ionadi finished the day eight-of-15 overall, including a four-of-eight mark from long range. Sophomore transfer Monty Khela scored 16 points in his Spartan debut, while sophomore Michael Hollis came off the bench and came a rebound shy of a double-double of his own, finishing the day with 13 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore Connor Nally added 13 points and eight rebounds, and Duckett finished the day with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
For Frostburg State, Tyler Michael led the way with 34 points and 11 rebounds, while Lawrence Pettis Jr. added 23 points and five assists.
The Spartans led by as many as seven points in the first half, taking a 30-23 lead on a layup by Hollis with 8:12 to play in the period, before a cold shooting streak lead to 11 unanswered Bobcat points and a 34-30 lead with 4:57 remaining in the half. CWRU regained the lead, 36-34, on a three pointer by Masiulionis with 3:58 to play in the period, but would end the half trailing by a point 44-43. Nally had a team-high nine points in the first half, with Duckett adding seven points and seven rebounds.
The Spartans would trail by as many as seven points with under two minutes left in regulation, 86-79, and by five points, 90-85, with 30 second left. However, Hollis converted an and-one and collected a defensive rebound on a missed free throw on the front end of a one-and-one on the next Bobcast possession. With a chance to tie the game, Masiulionis missed a shot, but collected his own rebound and hit the game-tying shot with nine seconds remaining. A defensive stand by the Spartans would send the game into overtime.
Case Western Reserve appeared to have the game under control in overtime, taking a six-point lead, 98-92, on a Masiulionis layup with 2:29 left. However, Frostburg State would eat away at the advantage, cutting it to a one possession game in the final 10 seconds. Trailing 101-98, the Bobcats' Jordan Johnson knocked down a three pointer as time expired, tying the game at 101 apiece and sending the contest into a second overtime. Frostburg State outscored the Spartans 14-6 in the resulting extra period en route to the victory.
The Spartans' bench outscored Frostburg State's 61-31 in the game, and the Spartans outrebounded the Bobcats 69-54.
Case Western Reserve fell to 0-1 on the year with the loss, while Frostburg State opened the season with a 1-0 mark.