Giant killers

Spartans down No. 7 Bears for Top Spot in UAA

On a snowy night in Cleveland, the Case Western Reserve University men’s basketball team stayed hot by outpacing the No. 7 Washington University (Mo.) Bears en route to a critical 89-78 victory in St. Louis. Relying on an unstoppable offensive effort from senior forward and team captain Dane McLoughlin (25 points on 8-13 shooting, 7-10 from deep) and a career night for senior center Connor Edel (16 points on 7-8 shooting), the Spartans matched the highly-touted Bears shot for shot the entire game, before pulling away late with a 17-6 run. As a team, CWRU shot a blistering 53.4 percent from the field, including an astounding 15-30 from three-point range.

In addition to the impact that the win had on CWRU University Athletic Association (UAA) standings, the victory also affected a number of important historical marks. Coming into the game, Washington University had taken the last 19 meetings against CWRU. In taking down that dubious mark, the Spartans also ended the Bears’ undefeated record at home this season. The 15 threes that the Spartans hit also set a new season high across Division III basketball and fell just two shy of a UAA record. Forward Dane McLoughlin’s seven three-pointers tied his personal career high, as he continues to add to his own school record in that category. With the loss, Washington fell into a three-way tie for second place in the UAA, while CWRU remained tied with The University of Chicago for first place atop the conference.

Looking ahead, the Spartans put their own unbeaten home record on the line against Chicago and a return matchup against Washington. Currently at 5-2 within the conference, it is entirely possible that this upcoming weekend will determine whether the Spartans have enough to pull out an unlikely finish atop a stacked UAA. Having pulled out tough victories against Washington and No. 23 New York University earlier in the season, the Spartans are also looking forward to a possible return into the Top 25 rankings after making the first appearance on the list in CWRU school history at the beginning of January. At 14-4 the Spartans are also pulling ever closer to the school record for wins in a season, needing three to tie and four to break with seven games to play.

The rematch for first place of the conference will happen tonight as the Spartans have slight deja vu as they host the University of Chicago Maroons. The rematch will be the second game of the basketball doubleheader as the women’s squad takes on Chicago at 6.

The games will be the headliners of the Neon Night promotion. All those in attendance are encouraged to wear neon gear as they cheer the Spartans to victory. Furthermore the night will include the traditional Provost Pizza Night, as all students will be able to get free pizza courtesy of Provost Bud Baeslack. Finally to top of the night free smoothies will be available to students courtesy of BlueCWRU and the Jolly Scholar. Everyone pack the student section and cheer on the basketball teams.

The showdown against Chicago is scheduled for this Friday, Feb. 6, at 8 p.m. in Horsburgh Gymnasium.