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Men’s basketball wins first game at home this season

Fourth-year+veteran+forward+T.J.+Duckett+drives+to+the+hoop.
Fourth-year veteran forward T.J. Duckett drives to the hoop.

Fourth-year veteran forward T.J. Duckett drives to the hoop.

Courtesy of CWRU Athletics

Courtesy of CWRU Athletics

Fourth-year veteran forward T.J. Duckett drives to the hoop.

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Being in Horsburgh Gymnasium felt better than anything. A familiar environment and familiar crowd, but an unfamiliar result, until now. The Case Western Reserve University men’s basketball team picked up its first home win of the season by defeating Adrian College on Saturday, Dec. 2, winning by a final score of 74-67.

Fourth-year veteran forward T.J. Duckett led the team with 16 points and a career-high 18 rebounds.

Duckett said, “It felt great to contribute to the win. [I am] very happy we were able to pull away and get the win.”

Second-year returning guard Sam Hansen also contributed 10 points, while second-year returning forward Michael Hollis chipped in nine points and eight rebounds.

The Spartans started off the game on an 8-2 run, courtesy of 3-pointers from Hansen and first-year rookie guard Antonio Ionadi.

However, the Bulldogs answered back with a 14-3 run that put them ahead 16-11.

This wouldn’t last for long as first-year rookie guard Ignas Masiulionis hit a 3-pointer and free throws to put CWRU back up 21-20 with about nine minutes left in the first half.

Adrian scored eight of the next nine points to take their largest lead of the half at 28-22, but Masiulionis responded back to give the Spartans a 31-30 lead going into halftime.

Head Coach Todd McGuinness said, “During halftime, we talked about executing against Adrian’s defense and talked about how to defend some of Adrian’s offense. We have been in a few close games already so we are getting more comfortable.”

After a back-and-forth start to the second half, Hollis’ layup with about nine minutes remaining in the game gave CWRU the lead and the team never looked back.

A late 15-5 run that put the Spartans up by 11 points secured the victory. The team ended up winning by seven, 74-67.

The team finished the week with two wins, bringing their overall record to 3-4.

Following a 64-56 win against Thiel College on Wednesday, Dec. 6, the team will travel to Kalamazoo College on Saturday, Dec. 9. After a short break for finals and winter break, the team will return for the Bill Sudeck Holiday Tournament to end 2017 at home.

“Everyone is busy with finals right now,” said Duckett. “It has been a stressful time for the team, but everyone has been doing a great job of managing their time and still putting in the work outside of practice and games. This win put us in a good mindset and I think we should be ready for this week.”

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