Masiulionis’ Game-Winning Layup Gives Spartans Fourth Straight Win

Ignas Masiulionis takes a jumper against John Carroll

With a game-winning layup from junior guard Ignas Masiulionis with seven seconds left in regulation, the Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team prevailed over Alvernia University 65-64 on Wednesday afternoon in Miami, Florida as part of the 2019 HoopMIA D3 Holiday Shootout. The win pushes the Spartans' winning streak to four games and their overall record to 6-3. The Golden Wolves fall to 5-6 on the season.

Senior forward Michael Hollis recorded his sixth career double-double and first of the season with 11 points and a team-leading 12 rebounds. He also contributed a team-high six assists, including one on the game-winning basket. Junior guard Antonio Ionadi led the Spartans with 12 points.

With 24 seconds left, Alvernia made a layup to extend its lead to three points, 64-61. Hollis then made a layup to cut the deficit to just one, 64-63, with 12 seconds to go. After the Spartans forced Alvernia to the free throw line with fouls, the Golden Wolves missed the front end of a one-and-one. Hollis grabbed the rebound, and on the Spartans' final possession of the game, down by one point, the senior forward found Masiulionis for the game winner.

The Spartans started the game on a 9-3 run, but the Golden Wolves responded to take a 16-11 lead six minutes into the first half. Three minutes later, Hollis found first-year forward Cole Frilling for a three-pointer to tie the game at 16. A layup from sophomore guard Robert Faller with eight minutes to go in the half capped a 7-0 CWRU run, giving the Spartans a 23-20 lead.

Case Western Reserve used a 13-4 run to take a 36-28 lead with just two minutes to go in the half, a lead they would keep for the rest of the period. At the break, the score was 39-33 in favor of the Spartans.

To begin the second half, the Spartans pushed their lead to nine, 47-38. Alvernia cut the deficit to four with 14 minutes left in the game. At 5:37, Case Western Reserve again had a nine-point advantage, 59-50, following a free throw from Hollis. However, with just three minutes to play, the Golden Wolves took a 60-59 lead on the strength of a 10-0 run, their first lead since early in the first half. 

Hollis put the Spartans back on top with a layup at 1:40. Alvernia responded with a layup of its own at 1:14 to go up 62-61. Though CWRU did not score on its next possession, the Spartans came back for the hard-fought victory.

CWRU concludes its trip to Florida tomorrow with their second and final game in the 2019 HoopMIA D3 Holiday Shootout. Case Western Reserve faces UMass Dartmouth at 6 p.m. on December 19 in Miami Shores, Florida.