The Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team will look to put its three-game winning streak to the test this weekend, when the Spartans return home to Cleveland, Ohio for their annual Throwback Weekend games at historic Adelbert Gymnasium against Brandeis University at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, February 2nd and New York University at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 4th.
Case Western Reserve University will be celebrating its annual Throwback Weekend during its games this weekend, as the Spartans will honor the heritage and tradition of the University by wearing the uniforms of the Western Reserve Red Cats against Brandeis on Friday night, and the Case Institute of Technology Rough Riders on Sunday afternoon. Additional information on the Throwback Weekend festivities is available at http://athletics.case.edu/sports/mbkb/2017-18/releases/20180129ei9wsr.
Friday, February 2 vs. Brandeis (8:00 PM)
Live Stats: http://athletics.case.edu/sports/mbkb/2017-18/boxscores/20180202_fp02.xml
Sunday, February 4 vs. NYU (12:00 PM)
Live Stats: http://athletics.case.edu/sports/mbkb/2017-18/boxscores/20180204_6gt6.xml
The Spartans have won their last three games, including wins of 89-58 over Brandeis and 77-75 over NYU last weekend, improving to 4-3 in the University Athletic Association to move into a tie for third place in the conference standings. Case Western Reserve is 10-8 overall, including a 5-4 home record. The team has averaged 77.9 points per game on 42.8% shooting, including 36.5% from behind the three-point line, and has allowed 78.1 points per contest. Senior T.J. Duckett leads the team with 13.7 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, with freshman guard Ignas Masiulionis adding 11.2 points per game, and sophomore forward Connor Nally scoring 10.0 per game.
Head Coach Todd McGuinness is in his second season at CWRU. He has a career record of 132-97 (.576 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.
Brandeis is 5-13 overall with a 2-8 mark away from home (which includes an 0-1 record in neutral site games) and sits in seventh place in the UAA with a 1-6 conference record. The Judges split their home UAA weekend last year, bouncing back from the loss against CWRU to defeat Carnegie Mellon 87-79 and end a seven-game losing streak. The team has scored 72.1 points per game on 41.5% shooting overall from the floor, including 34.1% shooting from long range, and has allowed 79.9 points per game. Senior forward Latye Workman leads the squad with 11.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, while freshman guard Lawrence Sabir has added 11.1 points per contest.
Now in his 15th season at Brandeis, Brian Meehan has coached the squad to a 211-171 record during his tenure. He has a ledger of 371-210 during his 22-year head coaching career, which includes a seven-year stint at Salem State. Meehan is assisted by Harry McShane, Sean Tabb, and Patrick Luptowski.
Case Western Reserve has won eight of its last 10 meetings with Brandeis, and is 24-25 all-time against the Judges, in a series that dates back to the 1987-88 season. Last weekend, the Spartans matched a UAA record with 18 made three pointers, en route to the 89-58 win in Waltham, Massachusetts. Ignas Masiulionis led the squad with 16 points, Connor Nally added 15 off the bench, and sophomore forward Michael Hollis collected a career-high 14 rebounds. CWRU split their two games against the Judges last season, losing 83-66 on the road, before claiming an 88-66 victory in Cleveland.
The Violets are 9-8 overall this season, including a 3-3 road record, and sit in sixth place in the UAA with a 2-5 conference ledger. Prior to suffering the setback to CWRU on Sunday, the Violets earned an 83-65 win over Carnegie Mellon at home on Friday. NYU is averaging 81.5 points per game on a 46.8% field goal percentage and 36.9% three-point percentage, while allowing 79.6 points per game. Sophomore forward Dom Cristiano has led the team with 13.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, while three other players – junior guard Ethan Feldman (14.5 ppg), sophomore forward Jimmy Martinelli (13.6 ppg) and Ross Udine (12.4 ppg) are all averaging double figures. Feldman leads the UAA in three-point field goal percentage (52.2%), while Udine is third in the UAA in assists per game (6.4).
NYU is under the leadership of longtime head coach Joe Nesci, who has compiled an overall record of 510-266 during his 30 years with the team. He is assisted by Taylor Roth, Mike McSloy, Adam Parmenter and Cal Ramsey.
Case Western Reserve has won two of its last three games against NYU to improve to 15-36 all-time against the Violets, in a series that dates back to the 1984-85 season. Last Sunday, during the 77-75 overtime win in New York, Ignas Masiulionis scored a career-high 22 points and T.J. Duckett registered a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. The Spartans split their two games against NYU last season, falling 73-72 on the road before claiming an 84-81 win in Cleveland.
- CWRU's three-game winning streak is its second winning streak of three or more games this season. The team previously won four-straight games between December 29th and January 6th. The Spartans have averaged 81.3 points and allowed just 68.7 per game over their last three games, while shooting 47.2% overall and 41.4% on three-point tries.
- The Spartans' win against NYU last Sunday was the team's first road victory over the Violets since an overtime win during the 1999-00 campaign, and just their third win at NYU in program history. The triumph capped off the first-ever UAA road weekend sweep of any two teams for the Spartans in the program's history.
- CWRU's 18 made three pointers against Brandeis last Friday were the most ever by a UAA road team in a league game, and matched the overall UAA record for made threes in a conference game, originally set by Rochester against the Spartans on January 22, 2016. The 18 three pointers matched the Spartans' effort against Kalamazoo on December 29, 2015 for the second-most in a game in program history, and were two short of the CWRU single-game record of 20 set earlier this seas against Wells College on December 30, 2017.
- The Spartans lead the UAA and are 19th in Division III with 43.5 rebounds per game, while also leading the conference in defensive rebounds per game (29.33) and total rebounds (783). The Spartans are on pace for 1,087 rebounds, which would be the second-most in program history, behind only the team's 1,105 rebounds during the 2005-06 season.
- Case Western Reserve's +6.6 rebound margin is the second best in the UAA and 34th among Division III teams. The Spartans have gone 9-4 this season when outrebounding their opponent, including a 6-2 mark when recording 10 or more rebounds than their opponents, and a 2-1 mark when outrebounding the opposition by 20 or more.
- The Spartans lead all UAA teams and are 21st among NCAA Division III teams with 10.6 three-point field goals made per game. CWRU has made 10 or more three point shots in 11 of their 18 games this year, and at least eight three pointers in all but one of their games. The team has made a combined 190 three point shots (already tied for the sixth most in a season in program history), and is on pace for a total of 265 this year, which would be the second-highest total in program history (behind only the team's 270 in 2015-16) and mark the fourth consecutive year (and only four years in program history) that the team has made at least 200 three point shots in a campaign.
- CWRU is 4-0 when shooting at least 50% on three-point tries this season, and dating back to last season, has won five-straight games when making at least half of their three-point attempts.
- T.J. Duckett leads all UAA players and is 18th among Division III players with 10.5 rebounds per game this season. His 189 total rebounds this season put him on pace for 262 for the year, which would be the second-most in program history, behind only David Thompson's CWRU single-season record of 265, set during the 2013-14 season.
- Duckett is one of 13th players in program history with over 500 career rebounds. His 555 career rebounds entering the weekend rank as the seventh-most ever by a Spartan player, and are just 43 behind Mason Conrad (2004-08) for sixth in program history. Duckett is 67th among active Division III players in career rebounds.
- Duckett's 69.9% field goal percentage is the best among qualifying UAA players and 39th among Division III players this season. It is on pace for the fourth-best mark in program history. His career 56.6% mark from the floor ranks as the 31st-best among qualifying active NCAA Division III players and is the fourth-best in program history.
- Duckett is also 39th among active Division III players with 19 career double-doubles. His eight double-doubles this season are tied for the lead among UAA players and 41st among all DIII players.
- Sophomore forward Michael Hollis leads all CWRU players this season with 3.2 assists per game and 19 steals, and is second on the squad with 7.0 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per contest. He set career-highs with four blocks and 14 rebounds against Brandeis last Friday.
- First-year players have accounted for 611 of the team's 1237 points (49.9%). Leading first-year scorers include freshmen guards Ignas Masiulionis (11.2 ppg) and Antonio Ionadi (8.1 ppg) and sophomore transfer guard Monty Khela (7.2 ppg).