The Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team will return home to Horsburgh Gymnasium this week for a pair of home games, hosting Thiel College on Wednesday, November 28th at 7:30 p.m. and Thomas More University on Saturday, December 1st at 1:00 p.m.
Live stats vs. Thiel: https://athletics.case.edu/sports/mbkb/2018-19/boxscores/20181128_3g1b.xml
Live stats vs. Thomas More: https://athletics.case.edu/sports/mbkb/2018-19/boxscores/20181201_3rz9.xml
The Spartans have opened their season with a 3-1 record, including a 3-0 mark in home contests. CWRU is coming off its first loss of the season, an 80-79 overtime setback at Denison last Tuesday. Through its first four games of the year, the team is averaging 79.0 points per game on 45.0% shooting from the floor and 34.6% from three point range, while allowing 68.5 points per game. Sophomore guard Ignas Masiulionis leads the Spartans with 13.5 points per game, a 43.5% mark from three-point range and 2.0 steals per game, junior forward Michael Hollis has added 11.8 points per game with a team-best 8.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists, and sophomore guard Michael Volkening has scored 11.3 points per contest.
The Spartans are under the leadership of Head Coach Todd McGuinness, who is now in his third year with the team. During his 10 year career as a collegiate head coach, which includes seven years at Hartwick, he has a 137-103 overall record, good for a .571 winning percentage. McGuinness is assisted by Mike Fitzpatrick and T.J. Duckett.
Thiel will enter Wednesday's game with a 2-4 overall record, including an 0-4 mark in road games. The Tomcats will be looking to put an end to a two-game losing streak, which includes a 102-58 setback on the road against Walsh (an NCAA DII program) on Sunday. The team has averaged 63.7 points per game on 36.9% shooting overall and 32.7% shooting on long-range attempts, while allowing 73.0 points per game. Sophomore guard Terrance Holloway leads the team with 13.2 points per game, senior guard Alonzo Brown has scored 11.7 points and leads the team with 5.3 rebounds per game, and sophomore forward Daquan Simmons has added 11.3 points per contest.
Thiel is coached by Tim Loomis, a 1975 graduate of Lock Haven. During his 25 year career, which includes stops at California (Pa.) and Florida Atlanta, he has a record of 275-355, including a 141-164 record during his 13 seasons with the Tomcats. Loomis is assisted by David Pastorkovich, John Riemold and Frank Sincek.
In a series that dates back to the 1971-72 campaign, the Spartans are 23-10 all-time against the Tomcats. The teams faced each other last season in Greenville, Pennsylvania, with CWRU coming away with a 64-56 win. Masiulionis came off the bench to score a team-leading 13 points in last year's game, while junior guard Sam Hansen scored 10 in the victory.
THOMAS MORE SAINTS
The Saints have opened their 2018-19 campaign with a 3-3 overall record, including an 0-2 mark on the road, and will host Ohio Norther on Wednesday before coming to Cleveland on Saturday. The team is coming off a split at the Christopher Newport Tournament, falling 79-74 to 20th-ranked John Carroll, before topping Methodist 74-54. Thomas More averages 76.3 points per game on 48.0% shooting from the floor and 36.7% from three-point range, while allowing 61.7 points per contest. Senior guard Damion King leads the team with 14.0 points per game and 4.2 assists per contest, while senior guard Ralph Stone has added 11.2 points and a team-high 6.2 rebounds, and senior guard Ryne Callahan has scored 10.5 points per contest.
Thomas More is under the leadership of Justin Ray, who is in his first year with the team. The Christian Brothers graduate joined the Saints after a seven-year stint as the assistant coach at Mount St. Joseph University. He is assisted by Sam Hotopp and Sawyer Pauly.
Saturday's game will be just the second meeting all-time between the Spartans and the Saints. The two teams previously met in Cleveland on November 21, 2009, with Thomas More securing an 86-82 victory in the game.
- The Spartans are shooting 78.0% (64-for-82) from the free throw line this season, the second-best mark in the UAA and 31st among all NCAA Division III teams. It marks a 9.3% increase from the team's free throw percentage during the 2017-18 season. Leading CWRU at the free throw line are junior forward Connor Nally (85.7% on 14 attempts), Michael Hollis (84.2% on 19 attempts) and Ignas Masiulionis (80.0% on ten attempts).
- CWRU is tied for the lead among UAA teams with 7.3 steals per game this season. The Spartans are also second in the conference in points per game, three-point field goals made per game (9.0), turnover margin (+1.5 per game), turnovers forced per game (15.25), and fewest turnovers per game (13.8).
- CWRU has won both of its games this season when connecting on 10 or more three point shots. The Spartans are also 3-0 when they outrebound their opponents in a game.
- The Spartans have outscored their opponents 165-118 in the first half of games this season, an average of 41.3 to 29.5.
- Hollis is currently tied for second in the UAA in rebounds per game. He is also ranked fifth in the conference in field goal percentage (62.5%). Masiulionis is second among UAA players with 2.0 steals per game. Sophomore guard Antonio Ionadi leads all UAA players and is 25th in Division III with a 4.0 assist turnover ratio. Nally is tied for third in the UAA with 1.0 blocks per game.
- Sam Hansen is currently tied for 19th in program history with 83 made three pointers, and is six away from matching former Spartan Julien Person for 18th. Among players with at least 72 made three-pointers in program history, Nally ranks third with a 40.7% mark from long range for his career, while Hansen is 11th with a 36.6% mark.