The Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team will carry a program-record five game conference winning streak into its final home weekend of the 2017-18 regular season, as the Spartans play host to the University of Rochester on Friday, February 9th at 8:00 p.m. and 13th-ranked Emory University on Sunday, February 11th at 11:00 a.m. In addition, the Spartans will honor their graduating senior player, forward T.J. Duckett, with a special 'Senior Day' ceremony prior to Sunday's game.
Friday, February 9th vs. Rochester (8:00 PM)
Live Stats: http://athletics.case.edu/sports/mbkb/2017-18/boxscores/20180209_afwc.xml
Sunday, February 11th vs. Emory (11:00 AM)
Live Stats: http://athletics.case.edu/sports/mbkb/2017-18/boxscores/20180211_rhlm.xml
The Spartans will enter the weekend with the momentum of their five-game winning streak that has seen the team climb to third in the University Athletic Association with a 6-3 league mark, and improve to 12-8 overall. Last weekend, CWRU defeated Brandeis 69-64 on Friday night and NYU 73-57 on Sunday afternoon to raise their home record to 7-4. The Spartans are averaging 77.2 points per game on 42.6% shooting overall and 35.5% shooting from behind the three-point line, while allowing 76.3 points per contest. T.J. Duckett is leading the team with 14.4 points and 10.6 rebounds per game this year, while freshman guard Ignas Masiulionis has added 10.6 points per game.
Head Coach Todd McGuinness is in his second season at CWRU. He has a career record of 134-97 (.580 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.
The Yellowjackets will enter Friday's game looking to turn around a four-game losing streak, including road setbacks to second-ranked Washington (77-63) and Chicago (90-83) last weekend. Rochester is 13-7 overall with a 4-4 road record, and is in fifth place in the UAA with a 4-5 conference mark. The team is averaging 73.1 points per game on 42.4% shooting overall and 36.0% from three-point range, while allowing 67.2 points per game. Junior guard Ryan Clamage leads the team with 16.4 points per game and 5.5 rebounds per contest, while junior guard Jacob Wittig has scored 10.4 points per game and added 4.6 assists.
Rochester is led by Head Coach Luke Flockerzi, who has compiled a 135-69 during his eight years at Rochester and 165-115 during his 11-year coaching career, which includes a three-year stop at Skidmore. He is assisted by Griffin LaDew and Ryan Shay.
Earlier in the season, Rochester topped CWRU 90-71 in Rochester, New York. In the game, sophomore forward Connor Nally scored 12 points for the Spartans, freshman guard William FitzPatrick came off the bench to score 11, and T.J. Duckett scored eight points and collected a team-leading nine rebounds. The Spartans split the two games with the Yellowjackets last season, falling 80-61 at home before stunning then sixth-ranked Rochester 76-72 on the road. In a series that dates back to the 1979-80 season, Case Western Reserve is 11-42 all-time against Rochester.
#13 Emory Eagles
Emory, which will face Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh on Friday before coming to Cleveland for Sunday's game, is ranked 13th in the latest D3hoops.com Top-25. The Eagles are 16-4 overall, including a 5-3 road record, and are in second place in the UAA with a 7-2 conference record. The squad is coming off a split of a UAA road weekend last week, besting Chicago 66-61 on Friday and falling to Washington 82-69 on Sunday. Emory averages 82.4 points per game against just 74.3 points allowed, and has shot 46.2% overall from the floor and 35.9% from long range. Freshman guard Romin Williams leads four Eagles scoring in double figures with 16.0 points per game, with senior forward Adam Gigax adding 14.9, senior forward Christopher Avant 11.6, and junior guard Gebereal Baitey 10.7.
The Eagles are coached by Jason Zimmerman, who has spent his entire 11-year career as a head coach at Emory, going 187-96. He is assisted by Kevin Sullivan, Charlie Copp and Pete Zaharis.
Case Western Reserve dropped their meeting earlier in the season to Emory, falling 91-59 in Atlanta on January 14th. Connor Nally set a program single-game record with seven made three-pointers in the game and led all players with 22 points, and T.J. Duckett added a double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds. The Spartans are 20-31 all-time against the Eagles, with the series dating back to the founding of the UAA in 1986-87, including a pair of wins for Emory over CWRU last season.
- The Spartans will celebrate 'Senior Day' prior to the start of their game on Sunday, recognizing the team's lone senior, T.J. Duckett. Duckett earned All-UAA First Team honors as a junior, becoming just the 13th player in the program's history to be named to the all-conference first team. He will begin the weekend ranked third in program history with a .574 career field goal percentage and seventh with 577 career rebounds.
- CWRU Head Coach Todd McGuinness was named the HoopDirt.com DIII Coach of the Week, following the team's two victories over Brandeis and NYU that extended the team's winning streak to a program-record five UAA games. The team's six UAA wins overall match the program record for the most in a 14-game UAA season.
- Duckett was named the UAA Athlete of the Week for Men's Basketball, and selected to the D3hoops.com Team of the Week, after averaging 20.0 points and 11.0 rebounds during the team's wins over Brandeis and NYU last weekend. He shot 76.2% (16-of-21) from the floor overall during the two games. It marked the third time in his career (and second this season) that he has been named the UAA Athlete of the Week, and the second time over his career he has earned a spot on the D3hoops.com Team of the Week.
- The Spartans' five-game winning streak is their longest of the season, and is their second stretch of four or more victories, along with a period of four-straight wins between December 29th and January 6th. The five-game streak is the team's longest since a six-game stretch during the 2004-15 season.
- Case Western Reserve leads the UAA in three-point field goals per game (10.0, 36th in DIII) and rebounds per game (43.25, 18th in Division III). The Spartans are also second among conference teams in blocked shots per game (3.6), offensive rebounds per game (13.75), and rebound margin (+6.5).
- Duckett is 29th among active Division III players with a .574 field goal percentage. This year, his 61.7% mark from the floor leads all UAA players and is 26th among Division III players, in addition to ranking as the second-highest in a single-season in program history.
- Duckett is also 67th among active Division III players and 215th among players across all three Divisions in career rebounds and 94th among DIII players with 7.1 rebounds per game over his career. He is seventh among CWRU players all-time in career rebounds, and just 23 rebounds away from becoming the sixth player in program history with over 600 career rebounds. He is one of just three Spartan players with two seasons of 200 or more rebounds, along with Carson Oren (2003-04 and 2005-06) and John Daughtery (1975-76 and 1976-77).
- Duckett collected his ninth double-double of the season and the 20th of his career with his 18-point, 14-rebound effort against
- Sophomore guard Sam Hansen recently cracked the top-20 in school history with the 76th three-pointer made of his career, and is seven away from former Spartan Kevin Herring (2007-09) for 19th in school history. His 37.6% mark from three-point range ranks as the ninth-highest over a career in school history.
- Connor Nally is second in school history in three-point field goal percentage, making 44.1% of his attempts (75-of-170).
- Sophomore forward Michael Hollis leads all CWRU players this season with 3.4 assists per game and 22 steals, and is second on the squad with 6.9 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per contest. He set career-highs with four blocks and 14 rebounds against Brandeis on Friday, January 26th.
- 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.