The Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team will start a three-game University Athletic Association home stand to conclude their 2018-19 season this weekend, when the Spartans play host to Emory University at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, February 15th and the 22nd-ranked University of Rochester at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 17th.
vs. Emory (Friday, February 15th | 8:00 PM | Cleveland, Ohio)
Live Stats: https://athletics.case.edu/sports/mbkb/2018-19/boxscores/20190215_1z6v.xml
vs. Rochester (Sunday, February 17th | 12:00 PM | Cleveland, Ohio)
Live Stats: https://athletics.case.edu/sports/mbkb/2018-19/boxscores/20190217_nf6e.xml
The Spartans, 9-13 overall on the season, will be returning to the friendly confines of Horsburgh Gymnasium this weekend, where the team has registered a 6-5 record in home games this year. The Spartans suffered a pair of setbacks on the road last weekend, losing 81-71 against NYU and 71-66 in overtime to Brandeis, falling into seventh place in the conference with a 2-9 league record. The team is scoring 71.7 points per game this season on 39.7% shooting overall and 32.6% shooting from three-point range, while allowing 73.5 points per contest. Sophomore guard Ignas Masiulionis leads the team with 10.4 points per game, while freshman forward Ryan Newton has added 9.5 points per contest, and junior forward Michael Hollis is contributing 9.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.
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 143-115 overall record, good for a .554 winning percentage. McGuinness is assisted by Mike Fitzpatrick and T.J. Duckett.
Emory will enter the weekend in a two-way tie with Rochester for the UAA lead with an 8-3 record in conference games. The Eagles recently saw a seven-game winning streak come to an end with a 114-107 loss to Chicago last Sunday that dropped the team's record to 17-5 overall (including a 6-3 mark away from home). Emory leads the UAA and is among the top teams in Division III with 93.8 points per game, shooting 47.6% overall and 35.9% from three-point range, while allowing 81.5 points per game. The Eagles have four players averaging double figures this season, led by sophomore guard Romin Williams with UAA-best 18.0 points per game, and sophomore forward Matt Davet with 16.7 points. Sophomore forward Lawrence Rowley has added 14.0 points and a team-high 7.9 rebounds per game.
The Eagles are coached by Jason Zimmerman, who is now in his 12th season with the team. The 1994 graduate of Davidson has a career record of 211-102 during his time with the team. Zimmerman is assisted by Kevin Sullivan and Charlie Copp.
Earlier in the year in Atlanta, the Eagles topped the Spartans 91-74, despite a 20-point, 11-rebound performance by Michael Hollis. The Spartans jumped out to an early 11-point lead in the game, but went on to take a three-point lead into halftime, and pulled away in the second half. CWRU and Emory have met each year since the start of UAA play during the 1986-87 season, with the Eagles holding a 32-20 advantage in the all-time series. Last year, CWRU dropped both games of the series against Emory, falling 91-59 in Atlanta and 75-72 in Cleveland, despite former Spartan T.J. Duckett averaging 14.5 points and 14.5 rebounds over the two games, while Ignas Masiulionis and junior forward Connor Nally each scored 11.0 points per game. Nally matched a program record with seven made three pointers during the game in Atlanta last season.
#22 ROCHESTER YELLOWJACKETS
The Yellowjackets have won four-straight games and seven of their last eight to improve to 18-4 overall (including a 6-3 record away from home) and move into a tie for first place in the conference with an 8-3 league record. Rochester picked up a pair of UAA wins at home last weekend, defeating Chicago 63-57 and Washington 78-48. The team is averaging 74.0 points per game and have allowed 65.7 points per contest, while shooting 48.3% from the floor with a 34.5% mark from behind the three-point line. Senior guard Ryan Clamage leads the team with 15.9 points per game and 6.5 rebounds, while senior guard Jacob Wittig has added 10.1 points per game and 4.8 assists per contest.
Head Coach Luke Flockerzi, a 2001 graduate of Grinnell, is now in his eighth season with the Yellowjackets, going 156-75 with the team. Over his 12-year career as a head coach, which includes a three-year stop at Skidmore, he holds a record of 186-121. Flockerzi is assisted by Griffin LaDew and Taylor Roth.
The series between the Spartans and the Yellowjackets dates back prior to the formation of the UAA, with the first game between the two teams having been played during the 1979-80 campaign. Rochester holds a 44-11 advantage all-time in the series, including a pair of wins last season, as the Spartans fell 90-71 in Rochester and 71-58 in Cleveland. T.J. Duckett led the Spartans over the two games with 11.0 points and 5.5 rebounds, and Michael Hollis scored 7.5 points and collected 7.0 rebounds per game.
- CWRU has hit 209 three pointers this season, the third most among UAA teams and 98th in Division III. It marks the fifth time in program history that a CWRU squad has made over 200 threes in a season, each of which has been over the last five seasons. The Spartans are also third in the conference with 9.5 three-pointers made per game, the 70th-best mark in the country. The Spartans have made 10 or more threes in 11 of their 22 contests.
- Case Western Reserve is second among UAA teams in 2018-19 with just 12.1 turnovers per game. CWRU has committed 10 or fewer turnovers 10 times through 22 games this year.
- The Spartans are leading the UAA with 80 total blocks and 3.6 blocks per game this season. Three CWRU players are among the top-10 individual leaders in blocks in the conference this year, including Michael Hollis (fourth, 1.0 per game), Ryan Newton (sixth, 0.8 per game) and Connor Nally (seventh, 0.7 per game).
- Hollis and Sam Hansen are the only two CWRU players to have started all 22 games this season. Newton, sophomore guard Antonio Ionadi, and Nally join Hollis and Hansen as the only Spartans to appear in all 22 games this year.
- Ionadi is sixth among UAA players who average at least 20 minutes per game with a 2.0 assist to turnover ratio this season. Freshman guard James Bittner is second among all UAA players (no minimum ratio) with a 3.3 assist to turnover ratio.
- Hollis' 9.7 rebounds per game lead all UAA players and rank 53rd in all of Division III. He also leads the conference in offensive rebounds per game with 3.64, the 27th-best mark among DIII players this year, and his 6.05 defensive rebounds per game are second in the league and 126th in DIII.
- Hollis has also notched a team-best four double-doubles this season. He has at least 10 rebounds in 12 games this year and four of his last five contests, including a 16-rebound effort against Brandeis last Sunday.