Case Western Reserve University sophomore guard Robert Faller poured in a career-high 20 points to lead all Spartan scorers, and sophomore forward Ryan Newton notched the second double-double of his career, but it was not enough for the Spartans on Friday night, as the team suffered a 71-64 loss to 25th-ranked Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.
The loss dropped the Spartans to 8-9 overall for the season and to 1-5 in University Athletic Association games. Brandeis raised its season record to 13-4 with a 5-1 mark in league play following the win.
Faller came off the bench to connect on six-of-12 shots overall, including both of his three point tries, and made six-of-10 attempts from the free throw line. He added two steals and two blocks on Friday. Newton finished the game with 15 points and career-high 11 rebounds, while also matching his career best with five blocks.
First-year forward Cole Frilling finished the game with 10 points and five rebounds, rounding out the trio of Spartans to score in double figures in the game.
After trailing by as many as 16 points in the game, the Spartans rallied back to get as close as five points in the closing minutes of the game. A three pointer by junior guard Antonio Ionadi with 6:48 to go put the Spartans down 57-51, and after a basket by Brandeis, Ionadi converted a traditional three-point play to get CWRU back to within five points by the 5:25 mark, as close as the team had been since a three-pointer by junior guard Ignas Masiulionis made the score 22-17 with 6:45 left in the first half.
The Spartans remained within striking distance throughout the final minutes of the game, but could not pull any closer. A three by Faller with 14 seconds remaining cut the lead back to five points again, 69-64, but it was too little too late for CWRU.
Early three pointers by Newton and Frilling helped the Spartans take 6-5 lead by the 17:44 mark of the first half of Friday's game, but the lead would be short lived, and would prove to be the only advantage the Spartans would hold in the contest. Brandeis led by as many as 15 in the first 20 minutes of play, going ahead 32-17 with 4:09 left in the period, and led by 13 going into halftime, 36-23. The Judges jumped out to a 16 point advantage on the first basket of the second half, their largest lead of the day, before the Spartans began to slowly chip away at the deficit throughout the period.
The Spartans will conclude a four-game road trip on Sunday, when the team travels to face New York University at noon in New York, New York.