Men’s basketball back to winning ways
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The Case Western Reserve University men’s basketball team picked up two key wins this week to stop their nine game losing streak. The Spartans won against New York University (NYU) 84-81 and Brandeis University 88-66. The two wins raised the Spartans’ overall record to 7-15 and the two conference wins improved their record to 2-9 in the University Athletic Association.
In the Spartans’ first game against NYU, first-year guard Regan Mohler exploded for a career high 24 points, just one game after setting a previous career high with 21 points. After a slow start in which Mohler only scored six points in the first half, he exploded for 18 in the second.
The Spartans jumped out to an early 8-0 lead in the first half, but ultimately it would be a struggle for the Spartans to maintain as NYU chipped away at their lead. With just under two minutes left to go in the half, NYU took a 40-39 advantage, and CWRU eventually found themselves down 45-41 at the end of the half.
With the Spartans down six early in the second half, Head Coach Todd McGuinness made the decision to send out five CWRU first-year players to counter the Violets. The decision turned out to be a smart one as Mohler took over the game and, coupled with NYU going on a cold streak, the Spartans went on a 17-2 run to take a 69-60 advantage.
With the Spartans opening up their largest lead of the game, the Violets would then go on an 11-0 run over the next five minutes. Mohler converted a layup to give the Spartans the lead again and, thanks to the Violets once again going cold in the final few minutes, the Spartans were able to pull off the win for their first conference victory of the season.
In the Spartans’ second game against Brandeis, the team went on a scoring barrage that included six different players reaching double digits. First-year forward Sam Henson led all Spartan players with 18 points. Henson shot a perfect six-of-six as he converted all of his shots from behind the three point line.
All five Spartan first-year students started the game for the team as McGuiness looked to continue the momentum gained from the win against NYU. While Brandeis started the game off with a quick four points, CWRU would go on a tear with a 16-4 run to take an eight point lead in the contest. The Spartans would not trail again throughout the remainder of the game as they pieced together a dominating effort.
Despite the Judges trying to push back, the Spartans would take a lead greater than 20 points in the second half on their way to a 22 point victory. CWRU shot a dominating 54.8 percent from the field and outscored the Judges by an outstanding 63-6 in bench points.
When asked how it feels to finally get a win after a long losing streak, McGuinness said, “I am happy for the players, they have been working hard all year. They haven’t quit and kept pushing forward when the wins were not coming.“
The Spartans play against Emory University on Friday, Feb. 17 and sixth-ranked University of Rochester on Sunday, Feb. 19 both on the road. The team will conclude the season on Feb. 25 at home for the team’s senior day game against Carnegie Mellon University.