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Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

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Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

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Men’s basketball defeats Emory, Rochester to improve to 15-1

Courtesy of Tim Phillis/CWRU Athletics
On Jan. 19, CWRU’s men’s basketball team faced off against Emory, winning 90-86. During the game, third-year guard Sam Trunley scored a career high of 33 points.

Case Western Reserve University’s men’s basketball team traveled last weekend, securing two more wins for the team and improving to a 4-1 conference record and 15-1 overall. They faced No. 22 ranked Emory University on Friday, Jan. 19 and University of Rochester on Sunday, Jan. 21. This Spartan team, currently ranked No. 2 in Top 25, keeps impressing us on the court.

Friday night against Emory was a big moment for third-year guard Sam Trunley, who scored 33 points and made 8 3-pointers. With this, Trunley registered a career high and matched the program record for number of 3-pointers made in a game, achieved by former graduate student guard Mitch Prendergast. This was also the highest number of points by a Spartan player since 2017. Trunley shot 9-16 from the field, 8-13 from beyond the arc and 7-10 from the free throw line. Graduate student guard Anthony Mazzeo added 25 points to the game and graduate student forward Colin Kahl had his first double-double of the season with a career high of 15 rebounds and 13 points. Fourth-year forward Ian Elam added 8 points to the scoreboard. The team shot 43.5% from the field goal range and 43.3% from beyond the arc.

Although the Spartans secured a win against Emory, the game was not an easy feat. The first points scored by a Spartan was Mazzeo’s first 3-pointer of the night, giving the team a 1 point lead 2:30 into the first half. The Eagles quickly reciprocated and took the lead going on a 7-2 run which gave them their largest lead of the night. The Spartans were quick to respond and after a defensive rebound and consecutive layup by graduate student guard Richie Manigault, the game was tied 20-20. 9 points by Trunley after 3 3-pointers as well as a jump shot by Mazzeo and a 3-pointer by third-year forward Umar Rashid, left CWRU leading by 12 with 5:51 left in the first half. With consistent gameplay, they were able to maintain this double digit lead and were up by 11 going into halftime.

Emory needed a good run in order to catch up to the Spartans, and that is what they did in the second half. They managed to cut the Spartan lead to 4 with 16:18 left in the game and then down to 1 with 14:13 on the clock. However, the Spartans quickly matched their energy and went on a 17-8 run which gave them a 10-point lead. Despite relentless effort from the Eagles to match the score, they were unable to take the lead. With 1:19 seconds left they had managed to get it down to a one possession game but Mazzeo’s jumper with 29 seconds left on the clock had the team back to a 4-point lead and this secured the 90-86 win for CWRU.

This team then traveled to Rochester to face the Yellowjackets on their home court. This was another close game which ended with the Spartans up on top. Rashid had his fourth double-double of the season with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Trunley added 23 points and 4 rebounds and Mazzeo had 13 points. The team shot 44.4% overall and 29.2% from the 3-point line. The Spartan bench added 37 points compared to Rochester’s 11 points.

The Spartans obtained their first lead of the night with a layup by Rashid two minutes into the game, and they were able to maintain it for the majority of the first half. Back-to-back 3-point shots by Rashid and graduate student guard Preston Maccoux gave the Spartans the largest lead of this first half, leading by 7. The Yellowjackets responded and established their largest lead of the first half with 1:53 left in the half, but the Spartans were quick to match that effort. With a 6-0 run, the Spartans were leading the score into the second half.

The Spartans never lost the lead in the second half but found themselves in a tight spot after the Yellowjackets managed to trim down a double-digit lead with a little over a minute left to play. However, a turnover by Rochester with 35 seconds left gave CWRU possession again which helped the team convert 2 points. With only seven seconds left, Rochester was unable to turn this to their favor and gave the Spartans the 75-73 victory.

The team will travel again to face the University of Chicago on Friday, Jan. 26 at 8:30 p.m. and the Washington University in St. Louis on Sunday, March 28 at 1 p.m.

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