Spartans Aim To Extend Streak in Saturday’s UAA Opener against CMU

Spartans Aim To Extend Streak in Saturday’s UAA Opener against CMU

The Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team will look to extend its three-game winning streak on Saturday, January 6th, when the Spartans open University Athletic Association competition at home against Carnegie Mellon University.  The Spartans are scheduled to tip against the Tartans at 4:00 p.m. at Horsburgh Gymnasium in Cleveland, Ohio.

Live Coverage
Live Stats: http://athletics.case.edu/sports/mbkb/2017-18/boxscores/20180106_9qfg.xml
Webcast: https://case.edu/livestream/athletics/

CWRU Spartans
The Spartans will enter conference play with some momentum, winning five of their last six games, including a 63-60 win at Oberlin College on Wednesday.  The Spartans are 6-5 overall this season, including a 3-3 home record.  Case Western Reserve has averaged 79.2 points per game, shooting 42.4% from the floor overall and 36.5% from long range, while allowing 77.7 points per game.  Senior forward T.J. Duckett is averaging a double-double this season, leading the team with 14.5 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, with 1.0 blocks per game.  Freshman guard Ignas Masiulionis has added 10.7 points per game, with sophomore forward Connor Nally (9.8 ppg), sophomore guard Sam Hansen (9.4 ppg) and freshman guard Antonio Ionadi (9.1 ppg) round out the team's top scorers.

Head Coach Todd McGuinness is in his second season at CWRU.  He has a career record of 128-94 (.577 winning percentage), which includes a seven-year stint at Hartwick College, where his teams qualified for the NCAA Championships on four occasions.  McGuinness is assisted by Rudy Kirbus, Kelly Blair, Liz Hornberger, Evan Shang and Aleksandar Zivic.

Carnegie Mellon Tartans
After opening the season with three wins in their first four games, the Tartans have dropped five of their last six to fall to 4-7 overall, including a record of 0-2 in road games (1-2 including neutral contests).  The team is coming off back-to-back losses, including a 94-83 setback at SUNY Brockport on Tuesday.  For the season, Carnegie Mellon has averaged 72.4 points per game on 44.1% shooting overall and 32.4% from three point range, while allowing 75.4 points per game.  The Tartans have a trio of scorers averaging double-figures, including senior guard Ryan Maha (11.9 ppg), sophomore guard Colin McNeil (10.8 ppg) and junior forward/guard Seth Henry (10.7 ppg), while Henry also leads the team with 7.1 rebounds per game.

Carnegie Mellon is under the leadership of Tony Wingen, who is now in his 28th season with the Tartans and has gone 309-378.  Over the course of his 30-year career as a Head Coach, which includes a two-year stint at Sewanee, he possesses an overall record of 329-406.  Wingen is assisted by Jeff VanGorder, Jacob Fleegle and Kyle Goldcamp.

Matchup History
The Spartans are 39-35 in the all-time series against Carnegie Mellon, including wins in five of the last eight matchups and two of the last four games played in Cleveland.  Case Western Reserve dropped both games last season to the Tartans, falling 78-61 in Pittsburgh and 79-69 at home in Cleveland.  T.J. Duckett averaged a double-double during the two games last year with 13.5 points and 10.5 rebounds over the two contests, while Connor Nally averaged 11.5 points and made five-of-nine three point attempts during the series last year.

Spartan Notes
The Spartans are on pace to make 263 three point shots this season, which would rank second in program history behind the 270 made during the 2015-16 campaign… The Spartans have made at least 200 three point shots in each of the last three seasons entering 2017-18, the only three 200-three point field goal campaigns in program history… CWRU has made at least eight three point shots in each of their 11 games this year, and have made 10 or more three point shots on six occasions… CWRU has outrebounded its opponents in 10 of 11 games this season, including a positive margin of 10 or more rebounds on seven occasions… Case Western Reserve is aiming for its first winning streak of four or more games since winning six-straight between Monday, December 29, 2014 and Sunday, January 18, 2015… T.J. Duckett recorded his second-straight double-double and sixth of the season with 20 points and 16 rebounds against Oberlin on Wednesday… The Spartans are 5-1 in games where Duckett records a double-double this season… He entered conference play last season with four double-doubles through 11 games… Duckett's 17 career double-doubles rank as the 46th-most among active Division III players, and his six this season are tied for the UAA lead and 12th among DIII players… Michael Hollis leads the team with 3.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game, and is second on the squad with 6.8 rebounds per contest… Ignas Masiulionis will enter UAA play ranked fourth among conference freshmen in points per game (10.7), fifth in rebounds per game (3.3) and sixth in assists per game (1.3).