Spartans Fall to Carnegie Mellon 97-91 in OT in Season Finale

Spartans Fall to Carnegie Mellon 97-91 in OT in Season Finale

The Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team's 2018-19 season came to a close on Saturday afternoon with a 97-91 overtime loss to Carnegie Mellon University at Horsburgh Gymnasium in Cleveland, Ohio.

Junior guard Monty Khela scored all of his team-leading 22 points in the second half and overtime, including a three-pointer at the end of regulation that knotted the score at 82-82 and sent the contest into an extra period.  However, Carnegie Mellon outscored the Spartans 15-9 in overtime, leading by as many as 12 points in the final minute of the game, before the Spartans made a late run to cut the lead down to as few as five points.

The 22 points were a career best for Khela, who finished the day shooting eight-of-18 overall and three-of-10 from behind the three-point line.  Sophomore guard Antonio Ionadi added 17 points on a four-for-nine shooting effort off the bench, including four-of-five from long range, and sophomore guard Michael Volkening added 14 points.  Junior forward Michael Hollis rounded out the Spartans' double-figure scorers with 11 points, along with eight rebounds, five assists three steals and a pair of blocks.

The Spartans trailed early in the first half on Saturday, but started to get hot offensively midway through the period.  With 13 minutes left in the opening half, Ionadi helped start a Spartans' run with three-pointers on three-straight possessions.  It was a part of a 14-2 run by the Spartans, capped off by a three from junior guard Sam Hansen with 10:44 left that put CWRU ahead 24-14.  However, Carnegie Mellon stormed back, taking the lead in the game by the 1:57 mark, and ending the first half with a five-point lead, 41-36.

Carnegie Mellon never trailed in the second half, and led by as many as 11 with 4:59 to play in the regulation, before Khela helped the Spartans climb back into the game, scoring 14 points in the final five minutes of the second half.  A jumper by Khela pulled CWRU back within a point, 75-74, with 1:12 to go, and with 17 seconds left, Ionadi was fouled on a three-point attempt, hitting all three shots to get CWRU back within a point again, 78-77.  The teams would continue to exchange free throws, with a pair by the Tartans' Daniel Weiss giving the team an 82-79 lead with five seconds to go.

After the free throws, CWRU inbounded the ball and went the length of the court, where Khela was forced to launch a well-guarded three, draining it as time expired to send the game into overtime.

However, a 12-0 run by Carnegie Mellon to start overtime was too much for the Spartans to overcome, sending the team to a loss in its season finale.

CWRU finished the game shooting 43.8% overall, including a 37.5% mark from three-point range.

Trent Suddeth led the Tartans with 23 points, and Seth Henry added 20 points and 15 rebounds for Carnegie Mellon.

With Saturday's game, the Spartans closed out their 2018-19 campaign with a 9-16 overall record, including a 2-12 mark in University Athletic Association games.  Carnegie Mellon ended its year with an 11-14 overall record and a 6-8 UAA ledger.