The Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team will be on the road for the final time in 2018-19 this weekend, when the Spartans travel to New York, New York to take on the NYU Violets on Friday, February 8th at 8:00 p.m. and to Waltham, Massachusetts to face the Brandeis University Judges on Sunday, February 10th at 12:00 p.m.
at NYU (Friday, February 8th | 8:00 PM | New York, N.Y.)
Live Stats: https://gonyuathletics.com/sidearmstats/mbball/summary
at Brandeis (Sunday, February 10th | 12:00 PM | Waltham, Mass.)
Live Stats: https://athletics.case.edu/sports/mbkb/2018-19/boxscores/20190210_cdxy.xml
Case Western Reserve will be aiming to end a three-game losing streak when it hits the road this weekend, including setbacks of 81-72 against Chicago and 66-63 to Washington last weekend. The Spartans are 9-11 overall and sit in seventh place in the league with a 2-7 conference record. CWRU is also 2-5 in true road games and 3-6 in all games away from home this year. The Spartans are averaging 72.0 points per game on 40.3% shooting overall and 32.9% from three-point range, while allowing 73.2 points per contest. Sophomore guard Ignas Masiulionis leads the team with 10.3 points per game, while junior forward Michael Hollis has added 9.4 points per game and leads the team with 9.5 rebounds 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 143-113 overall record, good for a .559 winning percentage. McGuinness is assisted by Mike Fitzpatrick and T.J. Duckett.
NYU has lost nine-straight games, dropping to 6-14 overall and 2-8 at home, while going 0-9 in UAA games. The Violets lost a pair of home games last weekend, falling 66-63 to Rochester and 75-67 to Emory. The team is averaging 69.1 points per game on 42.6% shooting overall and 29.8% from behind the three-point line, and has allowed 71.5 points per contest. Junior forward Dom Cristiano leads NYU with 16.3 points and a UAA-best 9.7 rebounds per game this season, and junior forward Jimmy Martinelli has added 9.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.
The Violets are led by first-year Head Coach Dagan Nelson, who took over the team following the retirement of long-time Head Coach Joe Nesci after the 2017-18 season. Nelson, a 1996 graduate of Ramapo, has a record of 41-80 over his five-year career as a head coach, which includes a four-year stint at SUNY New Paltz from 2007-11. He is assisted by Dan Rickard, Dante Milligan, James Altman and Cal Ramsey.
CWRU will be looking for a season sweep of series against NYU, after earning a 57-55 win on January 11th. Michael Hollis scored 12 points and registered a career-high six steals in the game, while freshman forward Ryan Newton scored 11 points and junior guard Monty Khela scored 10. The Spartans have won their last four meetings against the Violets, and stand at 17-36 all-time in the series, which dates back to the 1984-85 season. CWRU swept the series last year with a 77-75 overtime win in New York, and a 73-57 victory in Cleveland. During the two games, Ignas Masiulionis averaged 14.0 points, and Hollis added 7.0 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.
Brandeis will begin the weekend with an 11-9 overall record, including marks of 4-5 in the UAA and 4-6 in home games, and will host Carnegie Mellon on Friday before facing the Spartans on Sunday. Brandeis has lost four of its last five games, including a pair of losses at home against Emory (88-64) and Rochester (78-52) last weekend. The Judges are averaging 65.0 points per game on 41.9% shooting overall and 36.5% from long range, while allowing 66.8 points per contest. Four Brandeis players are averaging at least 10 points per game this season, led by senior guard Corey Sherman with 13.8 and sophomore forward Chandler Jones with 11.6.
Jean Bain is in his first season as the Head Coach of the Judges after being hired over the summer. This is his first head coaching job for Bain, who came to Brandeis after serving as the Associate Head Coach at Columbia. The 2002 Northeastern graduate is assisted by Sean Tabb, Patrick Luptowski and L.J. Harrington.
Brandeis claimed a win in the first matchup of the season between the two teams, topping the Spartans 67-65 on January 13th. Michael Hollis led CWRU in the game, recording a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. The Judges hold a narrow edge in the series (which dates back to the 1987-88 season), 26-25, although CWRU has won nine of the last 12 matchups. The Spartans swept the series against Brandeis last season, winning 89-58 in Waltham and 69-54 in Cleveland. Junior guard Monty Khela averaged a team-high 12.5 points over the two games last year, with Ignas Masiulionis chipping in 10.5.
- The CWRU men need to win three of their final five games this season to match their win total from the 2017-18 campaign. Four victories in their final five games would give the Spartans their first winning season under Head Coach Todd McGuinness, and the program's first winning campaign overall since 2014-15.
- CWRU has made 12 or more three point shots in a game five times this season, going 3-2 in those contests.
- The Spartans lead the UAA and are ranked 81st among all Division III teams with 3.8 blocked shots per game. CWRU has committed just 12.2 turnovers per game this season, the second-lowest total in the UAA and the 57th-lowest among Division III squads.
- Freshman forward Brady Flynn had a career outing during the Spartans' loss to Washington on Friday, shooting a perfect five-for-five from the floor and connecting on five-of-six free throws for a game-high 16 points, while adding eight rebounds. The 16 points surpassed his previous career-best of five points, set against Plattsburgh on December 20, while his previous career-high for rebounds was three, recorded against Albion on November 9 and in the first meeting with Washington on January 27.
- Michael Hollis is second among all UAA players and 61st among Division III players this season with 9.5 rebounds per game. Hollis also leads the conference and is 32nd among all DIII players with 3.55 offensive rebounds per contest. He has notched 11 double-digit rebound efforts this season, including three of 15 or more with a career-high 17 against Adrian on December 4.
- Hollis has recorded all four of the Spartans' double-doubles this year, including three in conference play. He has totaled five double-doubles over his career.