The Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team returns to Horsburgh Gymnasium for its final two home games of the season this weekend. On Friday, February 21, the Spartans host the University of Rochester at 8 p.m. Then, on Sunday, February 23, eighth-ranked Emory visits Cleveland for a noon game. Prior to the Sunday contest, the Spartans will celebrate their graduating team members with a special "Senior Day" presentation.
vs. Rochester (Friday, February 21 · 8 p.m.)
Live stats: https://athletics.case.edu/sports/mbkb/2019-20/boxscores/20200221_u3jt.xml
vs. Emory (Sunday, February 23 · noon)
Live stats: https://athletics.case.edu/sports/mbkb/2019-20/boxscores/20200223_1jv0.xml
Prior to Sunday's game against Emory, the men's basketball team will celebrate its three senior members: guards Sam Hansen and Monty Khela and forward Michael Hollis. Case Western Reserve will recognize their leadership, commitment, and contributions to the team over the last four years in leading the Spartans to 40 wins. The trio has been a near constant presence for Spartan basketball during their careers, appearing in a combined 230 games. In addition, all three of the seniors excel in the classroom, with each earning University Athletic Association Winter All-Academic honors last season.
The Spartans dropped a pair of road UAA contests last weekend, losing to No. 13 WashU 77-71 on Friday night and Chicago 80-61 on Sunday afternoon. Case Western Reserve saw solid performances from two sophomores in the losses, with forward Ryan Newton scoring a career-high 20 points against the Bears and guard Robert Faller adding a team-high 18 points against the Maroons.
CWRU is 11-11 overall, including a 7-2 record at home, and 4-7 in conference play. The Spartans are in sixth place in the UAA standings. The team averages 75.0 points per game while allowing 75.5 points per game. The squad makes 43.5% of its shots, including 37.2% from three-point range, while allowing opponents to make 44.0% of their shots and 37.4% from three-point range. The team's leading scorer is first-year forward Cole Frilling, who averages 14.2 points per game while making 49.8% of his shots and 40.8% from three-point range. Junior guard Antonio Ionadi, who leads the team with 62 three-pointers this season, is second on the team in scoring with 11.6 points per game. Hollis leads the team in rebounds (8.6 per game), assists (2.8), and steals (1.5).
Todd McGuinness is in his fourth season as the head coach at CWRU, compiling a 40-57 record in Cleveland. Previously, McGuinness coached for seven years at Hartwick College and owns a 154-127 career record as a head coach. His assistants are Mike Fitzpatrick, Greg Van Pelt, and T.J. Duckett.
The Yellowjackets swept a two-game home UAA weekend series last week, first defeating Brandeis 80-65 on Friday, and then taking down NYU 72-64 on Sunday. Rochester is 15-7 overall and 6-5 in conference play, good for fourth place, and is 3-5 away from home. The Yellowjackets average 69.3 points per game and shoot 47.9% from the floor, including 35.8% from three-point range. Opponents score 63.7 points per game against them on 40.2% shooting and 31.3% from three-point range. Junior forward Ryan Algier paces the squad with 14.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, while junior guard Kailan Lee adds 11.4 points per game.
Luke Flockerzi is in his 10th season leading the Yellowjackets as head coach. In his first nine seasons, Rochester made four NCAA tournament appearances, including an Elite 8 run in 2017. Flockerzi has a 174-84 record with the Yellowjackets and an overall head coaching record of 204-130, which includes three seasons at Skidmore College. His assistants are Taylor Roth, Dan Kaigler, and Jacob Wittig.
The Spartans and Yellowjackets played an overtime thriller when CWRU visited Rochester earlier in the season. Despite five Spartans scoring in double figures, the team lost the contest 88-86 after a potential game-winning three-pointer from Faller hit the rim and fell short. The game was also a physical one, as a combined seven players from both teams fouled out. The Spartans are 11-46 in the all-time series with the Yellowjackets, which dates back to the 1980-81 season. Last season, Rochester swept the season series, winning 81-68 in New York and 68-62 in Cleveland.
#8 EMORY EAGLES
The Eagles are riding a three-game winning streak, after defeating NYU 99-81 and Brandeis 93-65 at home last weekend. Emory is 19-3 overall and 7-1 on the road. The Eagles are 9-2 in conference play, tied with WashU for the UAA lead with three games left in the schedule. The team averages 87.9 points per game while allowing 73.7 points per game. The Eagles shoot 46.8% from the field and 41.5% from three-point range, while opponents shoot 41.5% overall and 29.8% from beyond the arc. Junior guard Romin Williams leads Emory with 17.4 points per game, while junior guard Matthew Schner is second on the team with 15.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. The Eagles' top rebounder is junior forward Lawrence Rowley, who collects 8.2 per game.
Head Coach Jason Zimmerman, the school's all-time winningest coach, is in his 13th season at the helm. At Emory, he has compiled a 233-106 record, four UAA Championships, and seven consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. Prior to landing in Atlanta, Zimmerman spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach at the Division I level. His assistants are Kevin Sullivan and Charlie Copp.
Earlier this season, Emory defeated CWRU 106-70 in Atlanta. In the loss, Frilling led the Spartans with 19 points, eight rebounds and three steals, shooting eight-of-12 overall and one-of-three from behind the three-point line. In the series history, which dates back to the 1986-87 season, the Eagles hold a 35-20 advantage, including victories in the last seven meetings. Last season, the Spartans fell in Atlanta 91-74 and lost in Cleveland 83-71.
Emory rose one spot from No. 9 to No. 8 in the latest edition of the D3Hoops.com Top 25 Poll. The team has appeared in the Top 10 of every edition of the poll, with its highest ranking of No. 2 occurring in the Week 4 poll.
- The Spartans lead all UAA teams and are 30th in Division III with 4.6 blocks per game this season, and are also first in the UAA and 39th in Division III with 101 total blocks. With three games left, the 101 total blocks rank as the eighth most in a single season in program history.
- CWRU has made 206 total three-point shots this season, the second-most among UAA teams. It marks the sixth-straight season that the Spartans have connected on over 200 three-point attempts, the only six times in program history that the team has reached the milestone.
- Robert Faller has scored at least 10 points in five of his last six games and has 11 double-digit games this season. Against WashU, he set a career high with eight assists, added a career-high three steals, and scored seven points, while against Chicago, he made a career-high eight field goals. Faller's eight assists were the most by a Spartan over the last two seasons and tied for the most for any UAA player in a conference game this season.
- Ryan Newton has been on a tear as well, scoring at least 10 points in four of his last six games and collecting at least five rebounds in five of those six games. During conference play, Newton averages 1.36 blocks per contest, second only to Carnegie Mellon's Ethan Miller at 1.40 per game. Overall, Newton blocks 1.18 shots per game.
- Cole Frilling leads the UAA in scoring during conference play, averaging 17.3 points per game in the 11 contests, .2 points per game more than Washington's Jack Nolan. Frilling is aiming to become the first Spartan to lead the conference in scoring during UAA games since Matt Clark did so during the 2015-16 season. Frilling is second among UAA players and 63rd in Division III with an 85.1% mark from the free throw line this season.
- In the loss to WashU, Antonio Ionadi became the seventh Spartan ever to make at least 60 three-pointers in a season and the first since Colin Zucker during the 2016-17 season. He is second in the conference in three-point percentage during league play, making 43.7% of his attempts from beyond the arc. His 62 made three-pointers this season are the fourth-most in program history in a single season, and just 15 behind the program record of 77, set by Dane McLoughlin during the 2014-15 campaign. His 152 career three-pointers made are the seventh-most in the program's history, and he is 12 away from matching Richard Mullen for the sixth-most ever by a Spartan player. Ionadi is 30th in Division III and leads the UAA with a 43.4% mark on three-point attempts this season.
- Michael Hollis has collected 617 rebounds in his career. Against WashU, he became the seventh Spartan to collect 600 rebounds in a career and the first to reach the milestone since T.J. Duckett in 2018. He is currently sixth in program history for career rebounds, and is two behind Duckett for the fifth-most over a career in team history. Hollis also leads the UAA with 2.72 offensive rebounds per game, and is second in the conference with 8.6 total rebounds per game this season.
- After Sunday's game, the Spartans will complete their season at Carnegie Mellon on Saturday, February 29 at 4 p.m. CWRU needs two wins to secure their first winning season under Todd McGuinness, and their first winning campaign overall since finishing the 2014-15 campaign with a 15-10 record.