The Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team will open the 2020 portion of its schedule this weekend, when the Spartans travel to Michigan to face the Albion College Britons on Saturday, January 4th at 3:00 p.m.
Live Stats: https://athletics.case.edu/sports/mbkb/2019-20/boxscores/20200104_udh0.xml
Case Western Reserve will enter Saturday's game with an overall record of 7-3, including a 2-3 mark away from home. The Spartans have won five-straight games, and will be in action for the first time since picking up a pair of wins at the Hoop MIA Tournament in Miami, Florida on December 18 and 19, defeating Alvernia 65-64 and UMass-Dartmouth 90-83. CWRU is averaging 75.1 points per game on 42.2% shooting overall and 36.4% from long range, while allowing 70.6 points per contest. First-year forward Cole Frilling and junior guard Antonio Ionadi are tied for the team lead with 10.8 points per game, while senior forward Michael Hollis has paced the squad with 9.8 rebounds 3.6 assists and 2.0 steals per game.
Coaching the Spartans is Todd McGuinness, who owns a 150-119 career record during his 11 years as a head coach, which includes a 36-49 record during his four seasons at CWRU. He is assisted by Mike Fitzpatrick, Greg Van Pelt, and T.J. Duckett.
The Britons currently stand at 8-2 on the year, including a 4-0 mark in home games. The team has won two-straight games and eight of their last nine, including an 80-54 victory against Otterbein in their last game on December 29. Albion averages 73.2 points per game on 45.5% shooting overall and 30.6% on three-point attempts, and has allowed 70.7 points per game. Junior forward Caden Ebeling leads the team with 18.5 points per game, while junior forward Quinton Armstrong (14.4 ppg) and junior guard Jamezell Davis Jr. (12.7 ppg) are both averaging double figures as well. Ebeling has also paced the team with 7.3 rebounds per game.
The Britons are under the leadership of Jody May, who is now in his 12th season at Albion and has notched a 147-147 career record. He is assisted by Stephen Draper and Robert Ryan.
The Spartans are 2-1 all-time against Albion, including wins in each of the last two meetings, and 0-1 in the only game played in Michigan in the series. Last year, CWRU opened the 2018-19 season at home with an 89-80 win over the Britons on November 9. Michael Hollis and junior guard Ignas Masiulionis each led the team with 23 points apiece in the victory. Hollis shot seven-of-seven from the floor in the game, and also paced the squad with nine rebounds. Senior guard Sam Hansen added 14 points on four made threes for the Spartans.
- The Spartans will enter Saturday's game on a five-game winning streak, the team's longest winning stretch since a five-game stretch from January 21 – February 4, 2018.
- CWRU was a perfect 4-0 in December, and have won seven of their last eight December games dating back to last season.
- First-year forward Cole Frilling scored 27 points and collecting 10 rebounds during the team's win over UMass-Dartmouth on December 19. It was the most points scored in a game by a Spartan since T.J. Duckett registered a 34-point effort against Mount St. Joseph on November 25, 2017. It also marked his team-leading third double-double of the campaign.
- Senior forward Michael Hollis recorded his second-straight double-double during the win over UMass-Dartmouth with 10 points and 16 rebounds. It was his seventh career double-double. Hollis is currently leading all UAA players with 9.8 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game, and is sixth among UAA players with 3.6 assists per game.
- Saturday's game will be the final non-conference game of the season for the Spartans. CWRU will begin its 14-game conference slate at home against Carnegie Mellon on Saturday, January 11.