Spartans Win Bill Sudeck Tournament with Victory over Centre

The Spartans celebrate the 2019 Bill Sudeck Championship after winning the tournament title at Horsburgh Gymnasium.

The Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team won the Bill Sudeck Tournament with a 79-75 victory over Centre College in the Championship Game on Saturday evening at Horsburgh Gymnasium in Cleveland, Ohio. With the win, the Spartans improved to 2-0 on the season, while the Colonels dropped to 1-1.

Junior guard Antonio Ionadi, named the Tournament Most Valuable Player, led the Spartans with 20 points, shooting six-for-12 from three-point range. Sophomore forward Ryan Newton, also named to the All-Tournament Team, recorded the first double-double of his career with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Also in double figures for the Spartans was junior guard Michael Volkening, adding 12 points.

As a team, Case Western Reserve shot 45.6% from the floor, including a blistering 40.7% from three-point range.

In a back-and-forth game with 10 lead changes, the Spartans took a 67-65 lead with just over five minutes to play in the game and held off a Centre offense that made 50% of its shots to win the game.

The Colonels took their largest lead of the game early in the first half, going ahead 16-10 with more than 14 minutes left in the half. A three-pointer from Ionadi tied the game 29 nearly 10 minutes later. After retying the game at 36, Ionadi gave Case Western Reserve a 39-38 lead with under a minute to play in the half. The Spartans had two steals at the end of the half to keep the Colonels off the board and head into the break with the advantage.

The Colonels retook the lead and pushed their advantage to five early in the second half, leading 54-49 with over 12 minutes to play. However, back-to-back three-pointers from senior guard Monty Khela and senior guard Sam Hansen put the Spartans ahead 55-54. The Spartans kept the lead until two free throws from Centre senior guard Perry Ayers tied the score at 65 with under six minutes to play.

After re-taking the lead with a layup from junior guard Ignas Masiulionis, the Spartans held off the Colonels to take the tournament title. 

Five Colonels scored in double figures, and All-Tournament Team selection Jacob Bates led the team with 19.

In the consolation game of the Bill Sudeck Tournament, Greenville defeated Central (Iowa) 143-140. Greenville's Santiago Grady and Central's Thomas Spoehr were the two other members of the All-Tournament Team.

Case Western Reserve now embarks on a three-game road trip, first visiting Otterbein University (1-0) on Wednesday, November 13. The Spartans finally return home for a non-conference matchup against Denison University on Tuesday, November 26.