Men’s Basketball Loses Hard-Fought Game to No. 16 WashU, 77-71

Ryan Newton puts up a shot against John Carroll

Despite hanging with one of the top teams in Division III for a full 40 minutes, the Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team fell to 16th-ranked Washington University 77-71 on Friday night at the WashU Field House in St. Louis.

The Spartans fall to 11-10 on the season and 4-6 in the University Athletic Association. The Bears improve to 17-4 overall and 8-2 in the UAA.

After a three-pointer from first-year forward Cole Frilling, CWRU led 71-70 with 1:46 left in the game but could not pull off the upset as the Bears ended a three-game Spartan winning streak.

Despite not playing for the final five minutes due to foul trouble, sophomore forward Ryan Newton led all scorers with a career-high 20 points off the bench, making nine-of-14 from the field, and collecting six rebounds. Frilling added 15 points and five rebounds, while senior forward Michael Hollis fell one point short of a double-double, grabbing 10 rebounds and scoring nine points. Sophomore guard Robert Faller set a career high with eight assists, added a career-high three steals, and scored seven points.

The Bears started the game on a 10-2 run, but the Spartans battled back and cut the deficit to five, 12-7, on a three-pointer from Frilling. Midway through the half, CWRU went on a 16-3 run to take a two-point lead, 25-23. Senior guard Monty Khela, playing in his first game since December 18, capped the run with two consecutive three-pointers. WashU responded with a three-pointer of its own to retake a one-point advantage. Hollis then tied the game at 27 with a layup, and Frilling put the Spartans back on top with a jump shot. With an 8-0 run, Case Western Reserve built a 37-29 lead with under four minutes to play in the half. WashU cut the lead to two, but CWRU led 43-39 at the break.

WashU pulled ahead, 50-48, five minutes into the second half, but Hollis tied the game at 50 with a layup. The Bears took a five-point lead, but a three-pointer from junior guard Michael Volkening cut the Spartan deficit to one, 57-56, with 12 minutes left in the game. Midway through the half, Newton put the Spartans back on top with a jumper. After WashU reclaimed the lead, Newton tied the game at 59 with a free throw.

Frilling put the Spartans ahead with a jumper of his own with seven minutes to go. Over the next few possessions, the teams traded baskets, but the CWRU led 66-65 with under six minutes left. A three-pointer put the Bears ahead by two, but junior guard Antonio Ionadi responded with a three-pointer of his own with four minutes to go to give the Spartans a 68-67 lead. WashU reclaimed a two-point lead, but Frilling responded with a three-pointer to put Case Western Reserve ahead by one with less than two minutes remaining. It was the last time the Spartans would lead in the contest, as WashU ended the game on a 7-0 and ended the upset bid. 

CWRU will look to bounce back when it travels to Chicago to face the University of Chicago on Sunday, February 16. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.