Men’s Basketball Looks to End Campaign on a Positive Note against Carnegie Mellon

Men’s Basketball Looks to End Campaign on a Positive Note against Carnegie Mellon

The Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team will look to end its 2017-18 season on a high note, as the team aims for a victory at Carnegie Mellon University on Saturday, February 24th at 4:00 p.m. in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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CWRU Spartans
The Spartans will enter Saturday's game with a 12-12 overall record, including a 5-5 in road games this year.  CWRU will be looking to turn around a four-game losing streak (including setbacks at no. 2 Washington and Chicago last weekend) that has seen the team fall to fifth place in the UAA with a 6-7 conference record.  The Spartans are averaging 75.5 points per game on 42.2% shooting overall and 34.9% shooting from behind the three-point line, while allowing 78.0 points per game.  Senior forward T.J. Duckett leads the team with 13.8 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, while freshman guard Ignas Masiulionis has added 11.4 points per game.

Head Coach Todd McGuinness is in his second season at CWRU.  He has a career record of 134-101 (.570 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.

CMU Tartans

The Tartans will enter Saturday's game with a 6-18 overall record, including marks of 5-9 at home and 2-11 in the UAA.  After persevering through a 10-game losing streak that included the first eight games of their conference schedule, the Tartans claimed two wins in three contests, before dropping a pair of road contests to Chicago and Washington last weekend.  Carnegie Mellon is averaging 70.5 points per game on 43.0% shooting overall and 32.2% shooting from three-point range, while allowing 77.7 points per game.  Sophomore guard Zach Howarth leads the team with 13.5 points per game, with senior guard Ryan Maha adding 10.9 and sophomore guard Colin McNeil averaging 10.5.

Carnegie Mellon is under the leadership of Tony Wingen, who is now in his 28th season with the Tartans and has gone 311-389.  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 331-417.  Wingen is assisted by Jeff VanGorder, Jacob Fleegle and Kyle Goldcamp.

Matchup History
The Spartans are 40-35 in the all-time series against Carnegie Mellon, including wins in six of the last nine matchups.  Earlier this year, the Spartans were dominant in a 94-63 win over the Tartans on January 6th in Cleveland.  T.J. Duckett scored 15 points and collected nine rebounds, with freshman guard Antonio Ionadi (15 points) and sophomore guard Monty Khela (14 points) each making contributions off the bench in the game, as the team shot 60.7% overall and 52.0% from long range. Case Western Reserve dropped both games last season to the Tartans, falling 78-61 in Pittsburgh and 79-69 at home in Cleveland.

Spartan Notes

  • Case Western Reserve has matched the program record for wins in a 14-game UAA season with six, and are trying to match the overall program record of seven UAA victories, recorded during a 15-game conference schedule in 1999-00.  The Spartans are assured no worse than a fifth-place finish in the conference, and could finish tied for fourth in the UAA with a win combined with a Rochester loss to Emory on Saturday.  Should the Spartans win on Saturday, it would mark the first time since 1998-99 that the team has finished at .500 or better in the UAA, and the only time the program has accomplished the feat with a 14-game UAA schedule.
  • CWRU's five-game conference winning streak between January 21st and February 4th mark the longest stretch of consecutive UAA victories in program history.
  • CWRU has outscored its opponents 950-922 in the second half of games this season, an average of 39.6 to 38.4.
  • 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.
  • The Spartans are second in the UAA and are 44th among all NCAA Division III teams with 9.8 three-pointers made per game this season.  The team has totaled 234 three pointers this year, the second-most in school history and just the fourth-time ever the squad has converted over 200 three-point tries in a season (each of which has occurred in the last four years).  The team is 36 three pointers away from the program's single-season record, set by the 2014-15 team.
  • CWRU is also second in the UAA in defensive rebounds per game with 28.33 (90th in DIII), offensive rebounds per game (13.25, 40th in DIII), total rebounds per game (41.58, 50th in DIII) and rebound margin per game (+4.2, 84th in DIII).
  • The Spartans are second among UAA teams and 118th in Division III with 3.4 blocks per game as a team.
  • Ignas Masiulionis is third among UAA freshmen with 11.4 points per game this season.  He has averaged 17.6 points per game over the team's last three games, including back-to-back 20-point efforts against #13 Emory and #2 Washington on February 11th and 16th.
  • Freshman guard William FitzPatrick recorded career-highs with 18 points, seven field goals and four three-pointers against Washington last Friday.  The 18 points, all of which came in the second half, bettered his previous career-high mark of 11 points, scored against Rochester on January 12th.  FitzPatrick is averaging 5.2 points per game this season.
  • T.J. Duckett has totaled 237 rebounds this season, the fourth most in a single season in program history, and a personal-best for the senior.  He is three away from Carson Oren (2005-06) for the third most in school history, nine behind Rich Wile for second, and 27 away from the program record of 264, set by David Thompson during the 2013-14 campaign.  Duckett leads all UAA players this season with 3.25 offensive rebounds per game (42nd in DIII), and is second in the conference with 6.63 defensive rebounds per game (68th in DIII), and 9.9 total rebounds per game (36th in DIII).  He is also 67th among active DIII players and 211th among active NCAA Division III players across all three divisions with 603 career rebounds, and 102nd among active DIII players with 7.1 rebounds per game over his career.  Duckett is currently sixth in program history in career rebounds.
  • Duckett is also 35th among active Division III players with a career .574 field goal percentage, the third-highest mark in program history.  His .611 mark from the floor this season is the second-highest in a single season by a Spartan (behind only Greg Badowski's .645 mark during the 1988-89 campaign) and leads all UAA players, while ranking 34th in all of Division III in 2017-18.
  • Duckett tallied his 10th double-double of the season and the 21st of his career with a 19-point, 14-rebound effort against Emory on Sunday, February 11th.  Four of his double-doubles this season and 11 over his career have come against UAA opponents.  Duckett currently leads all UAA players and is 47th in Division III in double-doubles this season, and is 41st among active Division III players in double-doubles.  The Spartans are 6-4 in games this season where Duckett notches a double-double.
  • Sophomore forward Michael Hollis recorded the first double-double of his career with 18 points and 12 rebounds against Chicago on Sunday.  He tallied career-highs with 18 points and six made shots in the game, while adding three assists and a block.  He is sixth in the UAA and 72nd among Division III players with a 2.22 assist-to-turnover ratio this year.  Hollis leads all Spartan players with 3.6 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.9 blocks per game, and is second on the team with 7.2 rebounds per contest.