The Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team will wrap up the 2019-20 season with a trip to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to face Carnegie Mellon University on Saturday, February 29. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.
Live stats: https://athletics.case.edu/sports/mbkb/2019-20/boxscores/20200229_ckzr.xml
The Spartans swept their final two home games of the campaign last weekend, defeating Rochester 88-87 in overtime on Friday night and upsetting then-No. 8 Emory 83-78 on Sunday afternoon. Senior guard Monty Khela averaged 25.0 points in the two games, including a career-high 30 points against Emory, the most by any University Athletic Association player last weekend. First-year forward Cole Frilling scored 24 points in each of the two contests and currently leads the league in scoring average in UAA play with 18.3 points per game.
Case Western Reserve has a 13-11 overall record, including a 3-9 mark on the road. The Spartans are 6-7 in conference play, tied with Chicago for fifth place in the UAA standings. The team averages 75.9 points per game while allowing 76.1 points per game. The squad makes 43.8% of its shots, including 37.5% from three-point range, while allowing opponents to make 44.2% of their shots and 37.0% from three-point range. Frilling is the team's leading scorer, averaging 15.0 points per game and making 50.8% of his shots. Khela is second on the team in scoring with 11.2 points per contest. Junior guard Antonio Ionadi (11.0) and sophomore guard Robert Faller (10.1) round out the Spartans who average more than 10 points per game.
Todd McGuinness is in his fourth season as the head coach at CWRU, compiling a 42-57 record in Cleveland. Previously, McGuinness coached for seven years at Hartwick College and owns a 156-127 career record as a head coach. His assistants are Mike Fitzpatrick, Greg Van Pelt, and T.J. Duckett.
CARNEGIE MELLON TARTANS
The Tartans lost both of their games last weekend, falling to then-No. 8 Emory 98-86 on Friday night and Rochester 82-81 in overtime on Sunday afternoon. CMU is 10-14 on the season, with a 7-6 mark at home and a 3-10 record in conference play. The team sits in seventh place in the UAA. The Tartans score 77.0 points per game and shoot 47.7% from the field, including a 35.9% mark from three-point range. Meanwhile, opponents score 80.0 points per game against them, making 45.0% of their shots and 32.7% from three-point range. Senior forward Trent Suddeth leads the team with 14.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Against Rochester, he recorded his 12th double-double of the season with 22 points and 16 rebounds. Senior guard Colin McNeil, who set the Tartan record for career assists in the team's last game, leads CMU with 7.3 assists per game. Another top scorer for Carnegie Mellon is senior guard Zach Howarth, who averages 14.0 points per game. The Tartans have used the same starting lineup in all 24 games this season, with junior forwards Ethan Miller and Daniel Weiss joining Suddeth, McNeil, and Howarth.
Carnegie Mellon is under the leadership of Head Coach Tony Wingen, the winningest coach in school history, for the 30th season. He has guided his teams to six postseason appearances, including two NCAA tournament appearances. Wingen has a 333-417 record with CMU and a 354-445 record overall, including his two seasons as head coach at The University of the South. His assistants are David Sloan, Jesse Reed, Jermaine Turner, and Will Fleming.
This will be the 80th meeting between the Tartans and Spartans, with CWRU holding a 41-38 all-time advantage. Earlier this season, Case Western Reserve defeated Carnegie Mellon 88-81 at home to end a five-game Tartan winning streak in the series. In that game, Frilling scored 27 and Ionadi added 20, with the first-year forward adding seven rebounds and four blocks.
Last season, CMU swept the season series, defeating the Spartans 85-71 in Pittsburgh and 97-91 in overtime in Cleveland to end the regular season.
- The UAA named Monty Khela its Athlete of the Week for Men's Basketball after his performance this past weekend. In addition to averaging 25.0 points per game, he made 18-of-30 shots overall (60.0%) and nine-of-15 from three-point range (60.0%), while connecting on all five of his free throw attempts. He added 3.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and a steal during the two games.
- The National Association of Basketball Coaches named CWRU as the Division III representative to its Team of the Week for the week of February 17-23.
- Monty Khela's 30 points against Emory were tied for the most for any player in a UAA contest this season. Washington's Jack Nolan scored 30 points against Emory earlier in the season and the Spartans' Cole Frilling notched 30 at NYU in February.
- The Spartans lead the UAA in three-point field goal percentage in conference games, making 38.3% of their attempts. On the season, Case Western Reserve's 37.5% on three-point tries is the 54th-best mark in Division III.
- The win over Emory was the first for Case Western Reserve over the Eagles since the 2015-16 season. The upset marked the first Spartan win over a team ranked in the top 10 of the D3hoops.com Poll since the team defeated then-No. 6 Rochester on February 19, 2017. Prior to that CWRU defeated then-No. 7 Washington on February 1, 2015, and Rochester during the 2013 season when the Yellowjackets were sixth in the poll.
- Last weekend was the first time that the Spartans defeated both Rochester and Emory in the same weekend since 2009-10, the first year that the current travel partners were set in the UAA.
- With its 13th win of the season, CWRU clinched a winning record for the first time since the 2014-15 season.
- If the Spartans were to prevail over CMU, the team would secure its seventh conference win, the most for the program since the start of the 14-game round robin schedule in the 2001-2002 season. CWRU previously had seven UAA wins during the 1999-2000 season, when the team played a 15-game conference schedule.
- 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 45th in Division III with an 86.2% 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. His 63 made three-pointers this season are the fourth-most in program history in a single season, and just 14 behind the program record of 77, set by Dane McLoughlin during the 2014-15 campaign. His 153 career three-pointers made are the seventh-most in the program's history, and he is 11 away from matching Richard Mullen for the sixth-most ever by a Spartan player.
- Michael Hollis has collected 634 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 fifth in program history for career rebounds. Hollis also leads the UAA with 2.80 offensive rebounds per game, and is second in the conference with 8.6 total rebounds per game this season.