Behind a stifling defense, the Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team defeated Adrian College 78-63 on Saturday afternoon at Horsburgh Gymnasium in Cleveland, Ohio. The Spartans improve to 5-3 and 4-0 at home, while the Bulldogs drop to 3-5.
The Spartans' defense continued its strong run, holding Adrian, a team that averaged 83.0 points per game heading into the contest, to a season-low 63 points. CWRU played well offensively, shooting 48.2% from the field and a blistering 54.2% from three-point range.
Leading the Spartans with a season-high matching 20 points was junior guard Antonio Ionadi, shooting five-of-11 overall and making five-of-eight three-point tries. First-year forward Cole Frilling secured his second career double-double with a career-high 14 points and a team-leading 11 rebounds. He also contributed a career-high five blocks. Senior forward Michael Hollis filled the stat sheet, scoring eight points, collecting nine rebounds, and dishing out seven assists.
In a back-and-forth start to the game, neither team could build a lead greater than four points with four ties in the first six minutes. A three-pointer from Ionadi tied the game at 17 near the midway point of the half. After Adrian reclaimed the lead, Hollis capped a 7-0 Case Western Reserve run with a layup to give the Spartans a 26-21 lead with six minutes to go in the half.
The Bulldogs responded to cut the deficit to one with four minutes remaining in the half, but the Spartans rebuilt the lead to 33-25 two minutes later on a three-pointer from junior guard Ignas Masiulionis. Case Western Reserve ended the half with a 35-31 advantage.
The Spartans made four straight three-point attempts to start the second half to increase the lead to 11, 49-38, five minutes into the half. Adrian cut the CWRU advantage to three, 54-51, with a three-pointer from senior forward Jeremy Kalonji nine minutes into the second half. Kalonji finished the game leading all scorers with 25 points.
Over the following few minutes, Case Western Reserve pushed the lead to 10, 63-53, finishing a 6-0 run with a three-pointer from senior guard Sam Hansen. The Spartans maintained an advantage, leading 68-59 with four and a half minutes to play. A three-pointer from Ionadi pushed CWRU ahead by 12 to put the game away, and Hansen made a three-pointer to put the final score at 78-63.
CWRU will be off from competition for 11 days for finals, before returning to action at the 2019 Hoop MIA Holiday Slam in Miami, Florida. The Spartans will face Alvernia on December 18 at 2 p.m. and UMass Dartmouth on December 19 at 8 p.m.