Men’s Basketball Looks to Rebound with UAA Matchups at No. 25 Brandeis, NYU

CWRU's Robert Faller drives to the hoop during the Spartans' game against Centre College

The Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team will finish its four-game University Athletic Association road trip with two contests this weekend in Massachusetts and New York. First, the Spartans head to Waltham, Massachusetts to face 25th-ranked Brandeis University on Friday, January 31 at 8 p.m. Then, the team will head to New York, New York to face New York University on Sunday, February 2 at noon.


vs. Brandeis (Friday, January 31 - 8 p.m.)
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vs. NYU (Sunday, February 2 - noon)

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The Spartans are looking to snap a four-game losing streak after falling to Rochester 88-86 in overtime last Friday night and 106-70 to No. 8 Emory on Sunday afternoon. In the battle against Rochester, the Spartans closed an 11-point second half deficit to send the game into overtime, thanks to a season-high 15 points from junior guard Ignas Masiulionis. However, Case Western Reserve came up short in the extra period, missing two potential game-winning shots in the final seconds.

Heading into the contest with Brandeis, the squad has an 8-8 overall record, including a 2-6 mark away from home. The Spartans are 1-4 in UAA play, tied for sixth place in the conference. CWRU averages 74.7 points per game, while allowing opponents to score 76.3 points per game. The Spartans shoot 42.8% from the field, including 36.4% from three-point range, while allowing opponents to make 44.1% of their shots and 38.9% from beyond the arc. The team's leading scorer is first-year forward Cole Frilling, who averages 13.6 points per game and 19.2 points per game in league play, the top mark in the conference. Senior forward Michael Hollis leads the Spartans in rebounding with 8.4 per contest.

Todd McGuinness is in his fourth season as the head coach at CWRU, compiling a 37-54 record in Cleveland. Previously, McGuinness coached for seven years at Hartwick College and owns a 151-124 career record as a head coach. His assistants are Mike Fitzpatrick, Greg Van Pelt, and T.J. Duckett.

Brandeis split its two conference games last weekend on the road, losing to No. 11 WashU 70-60 on Friday night, but defeating Chicago 63-60 on Sunday afternoon. The Judges are 12-4 overall, 5-0 at home, and 4-1 in the conference, good for a tie for second place. The team scores 72.3 points per game on 46.4% shooting, including 38.9% from three-point range. Brandeis allows opponents to score 66.7 points per game on 40.6% shooting and 32.6% from three-point range. The team's leading scorer is senior guard/forward Collin Sawyer, who averages 15.1 points per game. Sophomore forward Nolan Hagerty collects the most rebounds at 7.9 per game, while junior forward Chandler Jones is second on the team with 14.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.

Brandeis is under the leadership of second-year head coach Jean Bain. The position with the Judges is his first head coaching stop after six years as an associate head coach at the Division I level. With Brandeis, Bain has a 30-15 record. His assistants are Sean Tabb, L.J. Harrington, and Sam Rubinstein.

The Spartans and Judges have faced off 52 times in the all-time series that dates back to the 1987-88 season. Brandeis holds a slim 27-25 edge in those contests, including two victories last season. In Cleveland, the Spartans fell 67-65, while in Massachusetts, CWRU lost in overtime 71-65. Hollis recorded a double-double in the home contest and finished a point shy of it in the road battle, though he averaged 11.0 points and 13.5 rebounds per game against the Judges. In the overtime nail-biter, sophomore forward Ryan Newton made a game-tying buzzer-beating three-pointer from near half court to send the game to the extra frame. The two teams will square off in Cleveland later in the season, on Friday, February 7 at 8 p.m. as part of Throwback Weekend in historic Adelbert Gymnasium.

Brandeis fell one spot from No. 24 to No. 25 in the latest edition of the Top 25 Poll. The team's ranking last week was its first of the season.

NYU Violets
The Violets dropped two close road games last weekend, falling to Chicago 79-74 on Friday night and No. 11 WashU 73-70 on Sunday afternoon. NYU has a 7-9 overall record, including a 2-6 mark in home contests. The Violets are eighth in the UAA with a 0-5 record in conference play. The team scores 72.8 points per game, while allowing 73.1 points per game. The Violets shoot 44.8% from the field, including 32.1% from three-point range, and allow opponents to shoot 45.0% overall and 33.8% from beyond the arc. Senior guard Ethan Feldman leads the Violets with 13.9 points per game and makes a team-high 46.3% of his three-point attempts. Senior forward/guard Jimmy Martinelli is the squad's top rebounder, collecting 7.7 per game while also averaging 11.0 points per contest.

Dagan Nelson is in his second season as the Violets' head coach, compiling a 15-26 record at the school. Nelson was the head coach at SUNY New Paltz for four seasons (2007-11), his only other collegiate head coaching experience. Overall, Nelson has a 50-92 career record. His assistants are David Muchnick, Dante Milligan, James Altman, and Jake Rauchbach.

In a series that dates back to the 1984-85 season, NYU holds a 36-17 historic advantage over CWRU. Last season, the teams split the two-game series, with each school winning on its home court. The Spartans were 57-55 victors in Cleveland, while the Violets took the game in New York 81-71. Newton averaged 13.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game across the two contests, and Masiulionis scored 19 points in the Spartans' loss. The two teams will square off in Cleveland later in the season, on Sunday, February 9 at noon as part of Throwback Weekend in historic Adelbert Gymnasium.


  • Michael Hollis is tied for fourth in the UAA with a 55.6% shooting percentage in conference play. Across the whole season, Cole Frilling leads the squad in field goal percentage, making 50.0% of his baskets.
  • In the loss to Rochester, sophomore guard Robert Faller led the Spartans in four categories: points (15), rebounds (7), assists (3), and blocks (2). In each category, he tied with a different teammate: Ignas Masiulionis scored 15 points, Michael Hollis collected seven rebounds, junior guard Antonio Ionadi earned three assists, and Ryan Newton blocked two shots.
  • CWRU is 17th in Division III with 5.1 blocks per game. First-year forward Josh Levy leads the squad with 1.2 blocks per game, Cole Frilling averages 1.1 per game, and Ryan Newton and Robert Faller each average 0.9 per game. Ten Spartans have blocked at least one shot this season.
  • Following the game against NYU, the Spartans return home for their annual Throwback Weekend in historic Adelbert Gymnasium on Friday, February 7 and Sunday, February 9. The team will wear jerseys honoring the Case Institute of Technology Rough Riders and the Western Reserve University Red Cats.