CWRU Defeats Brandeis 89-58 Behind UAA-Record Three-Point Barrage

CWRU Defeats Brandeis 89-58 Behind UAA-Record Three-Point Barrage

The Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team matched a University Athletic Association game record with 18 made three pointers, en route to a dominating 89-58 win over Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts on Friday night.

The win was the second-straight for the Spartans, who improved to 9-8 overall for the season and to 3-3 in the conference, moving into a tie for fourth in the UAA with the University of Chicago.  Brandeis dropped to 0-6 in the UAA and to 4-13 overall.

The Spartans shot 52.9% from three-point range, connected on 18-of-34 shots from behind the three-point arc to match the single-game record for three pointers made by a team in a UAA game, originally set by Rochester against the Spartans on January 22, 2016.  Six different CWRU players made at least one three pointer in the game, including sophomore forward Connor Nally, who came off the bench to make five-of-nine three point tries for 15 points.

Freshman guard Ignas Masiulionis scored a game high 16 points, shooting five-of-nine overall and four-of-seven from behind the three-point line.  Four other Spartan players – freshman guards Michael Volkening and Antonio Ionadi and sophomore guards Sam Hansen and Monty Khela – each finished with nine points apiece.  Sophomore forward Michael Hollis scored seven points, and finished with career highs in rebounds (14) and blocks (four) to go along with three assists and three steals.

The sharpshooting Spartans surged to an early lead in the game behind nine made threes in the first half on 20 attempts from long range.  A pair of free throws and a three-pointer in the first two minutes by Masiulionis put the team ahead 5-0, and back-to-back threes by Masiulionis and Hansen had the team in from 13-4 with 15:08 to play in the opening stanza.  A pair of threes from Ionadi and a layup by Hollis pushed the Spartans lead to 12 points, 21-9, with 11:27 remaining in the period.  Ionadi's third three pointer of the opening half came at the 3:02 mark, capping a 10-2 CWRU run and giving the team a 15-point advantage, 40-25.  After a Brandeis basket with 2:47 to go, freshman Brian Dompke stole an inbounds pass and converted a layup in the final minute to push the Spartans' lead back to 15, 42-27, heading into halftime.

Ionadi led nine first-half scorers for the Spartans with nine points on three-of-five shooting from behind the three point line during the opening frame, while Masiulionis added eight first half points, and Khela chipped in seven.  Hollis collected 10 rebounds in the first half of the game alone.

The Spartans' long-range attack continued into the second half, with the Spartans converting nine of their 14 three-point tries (64.3%) to help lock down the victory.  CWRU opened the period on an 11-3 run behind threes from Hansen and Volkening to increase their lead to 53-30 with 15:39 to play.  Nally would knock down four of his five threes in the second half, including one with 11:42 remaining that expanded the team's lead to 25 points, 64-39.  A late 7-0 run over the final three minutes by the Spartans helped the team build a game-high 32-point lead, 89-57, with 1:48 to go, before closing out the 31-point victory.

In addition to the team's strong offensive output on Friday, the Spartans also limited Brandeis to just 32.8% shooting overall, including a 31.3% mark from three-point range.  Lawrence Sabir led the Judges with 13 points, and Corey Sherman came off the Brandeis bench to score 12 points in the game.

The Spartans will look to run their winning streak to three games, when the team travels to New York, New York to face the New York University Violets at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, January 28th.