The Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team opened its annual Throwback Weekend on Friday night with a loss, as the University of Chicago claimed an 81-72 win over the Spartans at historic Adelbert Gymnasium in Cleveland, Ohio, force a split of the season series.
The loss dropped the Spartans to 9-10 overall and to 2-6 in the University Athletic Association, while Chicago remained tied for the UAA lead with a 6-2 conference ledger and improved to 13-6 overall.
The Spartans, who were wearing their Case Institute of Technology throwback uniforms on Friday, were led by sophomore guard Ignas Masiulionis, who scored 18 points off the bench on a seven-of-15 shooting performance, including three-of-eight from behind the three-point line. Freshman forward Ryan Newton also came off the bench to score 15 points, while sophomore guard Michael Volkening led all CWRU starters with 10 points. Junior forward Michael Hollis added a game-high 15 rebounds and five steals, while finishing with seven points.
As a team, CWRU shot 41.3% overall in the game, but struggled from long range, connecting on just six-of-24 three-point attempts, including just one-of-10 in the opening half.
Chicago came out firing in the game, connecting on six threes in the first six minutes of the game to go ahead by 11, 20-9, with 13:57 remaining in the opening half. CWRU got back within five points, as freshman forward Solomon Wells capped off an 8-2 run with a layup that pulled the Spartans back within five, 22-17, but Chicago would build its lead back to 12, when a three by Noah Karras put the Maroons ahead 38-26 with 2:24 left in the half. CWRU ended the half on a 6-0 run with layups by Masiulionis, freshman forward Brady Flynn and Wells, cutting the Maroons' lead to six, 38-28, at halftime.
Early in the second half, Volkening scored five-straight points for the Spartans on a three and a layup off a steal to cut the Chicago lead to five points, 43-38, with 17:17 to play. Chicago built its lead back to 11 with 10:33 to play, before Newton scored six-straight points to pull CWRU back within five, 61-56, with 8:33 to go. However, the Maroons would push their lead back to 14, 71-57, with 4:36 remaining, and would maintain a double-digit lead until the final minute of the game. A layup by Volkening got the Spartans to within seven points with 14 seconds left, but a pair of free throws for the Maroons pushed the final difference to nine points.
Chicago's Jordan Baum finished with a game-high 22 points for the Maroons.
CWRU will wrap-up Throwback Weekend on Sunday afternoon, when the Spartans play host to Washington University at 12:00 p.m. at Adelbert Gymnasium.