Spartans Claim Second-Straight Win; Top Thiel 64-56

Spartans Claim Second-Straight Win; Top Thiel 64-56

Case Western Reserve University took a lead in the opening four minutes of the game and never trailed again, as the Spartans defeated Thiel College 64-56 in Greenville, Pennsylvania on Wednesday night.

The win was the second straight for the Spartans, who improved to 3-4 on the year, while Thiel dropped to 3-3 with Wednesday night's loss.

After setting a career-high in rebounds on Saturday, senior forward T.J. Duckett matched the mark with 18 again on Wednesday to go along with 12 points for his fourth double-double of the season and 15th of his career.  Two Spartans came off the bench to score in double figures, with freshman guard Ignas Masiulionis leading all CWRU players with 13 points, and sophomore guard Darius Inzar matching his career-high with 11 points to go along with three rebounds and three assists.

The Spartans and the Tomcats played even through the first five minutes of the game, before a 7-0 run, keyed by a three and a layup by Masiulionis gave CWRU a 16-7 lead by the 13:39 mark.  Another 7-0 run late in the first half, capped off by a three pointer from sophomore forward Michael Hollis with 2:39 remaining in the period, gave the Spartans their largest lead of the game, 35-23.  CWRU would carry a 10-point lead, 35-25, into the halftime break, with Duckett and Masiulionis leading the team with 10 points apiece in the first half.

Three-straight baskets to start the second half brought Thiel back within four, 35-31, with 18:05 left on the clock, but the Spartans would bolster their lead back to 10, 41-31, after a three pointer by sophomore guard Sam Hansen with 15:50 to play.  The Tomcats responded with three-straight jumpers again to pull back within four, and the Spartans would not lead by more than nine the rest of the way.  However, sophomore forward Connor Nally would score all of his nine points on Wednesday in the game's final 10 minutes to help keep CWRU ahead in the game.  And, despite the Spartans not making a field goal in the final five minutes of the game, the Tomcats scored just two points during the same stretch to close the game, while Hansen converted four free throws in the final minute to put the contest out of reach.

CWRU finished the game shooting 35.8% from the field (19-of-53) including 33.3% from beyond the three-point arc (eight-of-24).  The Spartans received a big boost from their bench, which outscored the Tomcats 37-12 on Wednesday.

Thiel's Tyreik Burton led all scorers in the game with 14 points, and Nyric Gosley added 12 in the contest for the Tomcats.

The Spartans will be back in action on Saturday, December 9th, when Case Western Reserve travels to Kalamazoo, Michigan to face the Kalamazoo College Hornets in the team's final game before the start of winter break.  Tip-off on Saturday is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.