2018-19 CWRU Men’s Basketball Season Recap

2018-19 CWRU Men’s Basketball Season Recap

The Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team completed the 2018-19 campaign with a 9-16 overall record.

The Spartans were led during the season by junior forward Michael Hollis, who was named to the All-University Athletic Association Second Team, marking the first all-conference honor of his career.  Hollis finished the season as the league's leading rebounder, averaging 9.5 boards per game.  He also paced all Spartan players in assists (69), blocks (26) and steals (41) during the year, while scoring 9.4 points per contest (third on the team) and was one of just two players to start all 25 of the team's games.  Hollis also shot a team-high 48.6% from the floor for the campaign.

CWRU's attack was well-rounded, with six different players averaging at least eight points per game.  Sophomore guards Ignas Masiulionis and Antonio Ionadi were the team's top-two scorers, with Masiulionis pacing the squad with 10.4 points per game, and Ionadi adding 9.6 points per game.  Ionadi also led the team in three point shooting, connecting on 53-of-130 long range attempts for a 40.8% mark.

Freshman Ryan Newton added depth to the Spartans' rotation during his freshman year, averaging 8.7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game during his inaugural collegiate campaign.  Other top scorers for CWRU in 2018-19 included sophomore guard Michael Volkening (8.3 points per game) and junior forward Connor Nally (8.0 points per game).

CWRU finished the season leading the UAA with 3.7 blocks per game, the 86th-best mark among NCAA Division III teams.  The Spartans also turned the ball over fewer times than any other team in the conference (the Spartans' 304 total turnovers were the 34th-fewest in DIII), while ranking second in the league (and 61st in DIII) with 12.2 turnovers per game.

The Spartans got off to a strong start to their season, winning their first three games, marking the team's first 3-0 start since the 2014-15 season.  Included in the 3-0 start was a pair of wins at the Bill Sudeck Tournament to earn the team championship at the event.  CWRU bested Franciscan 78-48 behind a 17-point, eight-rebound performance from Nally in the opening game, and then topped Washington College 70-66, as Masiulionis scored 15 and Hollis added nine points and 13 rebounds.  Hollis was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, while Masiulionis was selected to the all-tournament team.

The Spartans went on to win seven of their first nine games during the year, matching the best start through nine games in program history.  CWRU would finish its non-conference season with a 7-4 record, adding on wins against Thiel (83-79), Adrian (63-50), Kalamazoo (80-57) and Widener (80-70), before seeing a three-game winning streak come to a close with a loss to then 13th-ranked Plattsburgh State at the Hoop MIA Holiday Slam in Miami Shores, Florida.

CWRU would go on to secure a pair of wins during the UAA season.  The Spartans bested New York University 57-55 at home on January 11th behind 12 points, six rebounds and six steals from Hollis.  On January 25th, CWRU secured an 85-80 win on the road against the University of Chicago, as Masiulionis came off the bench to score 16 points, and Ionadi added 14.

In addition to their success on the court, eight members of the team – junior guard Sam Hansen, Hollis, Ionadi, junior guard Monty Khela, Masiulionis, junior guard Regan Mohler, Nally and Volkening – received UAA All-Academic recognition for having a cumulative grade point average of 3.3 or higher.

The Spartans earned the following awards during the 2018-19 season:

 

All-UAA

Michael Hollis

Junior

Forward

Second Team

 

Bill Sudeck All-Tournament

Michael Hollis

Junior

Forward

Most Valuable Player

Ignas Masiulionis

Sophomore

Guard

 

UAA Athletes of the Week

Michael Hollis

Junior

Forward

Nov. 12

Antonio Ionadi

Sophomore

Guard

Dec. 10

Ignas Masiulionis

Sophomore

Guard

Jan. 2



The following were the CWRU team leaders in 2018-19:

 

Points per game

Ignas Masiulionis

10.4

Rebounds per game

Michael Hollis

9.5

Assists per game

Michael Hollis

2.8

Blocks per game

Michael Hollis

1.0

Steals per game

Michael Hollis

1.6

Field Goal % (min. 20 attempts)

Michael Hollis

48.6%

3-pt % (min. 20 attempts)

Antonio Ionadi

40.8%