Men’s basketball season ends in second round loss to Wis.-Whitewater 75-78


Courtesy of CWRU Athletics

Third-year guard Luke Thorburn scored a layup in a hard-fought loss against the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the last match in the best tournament run in the history of CWRU men’s basketball.

Paola Van der Linden Costello, Staff Writer

The Case Western Reserve University men’s basketball team made it through the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament after an 82-76 win against Arcadia University but lost in the second round against the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 78-75 in a close match. With this, the Spartans ended their season with an overall record of 22-4 and a 4-2 all-time NCAA tournament play. 

Fourth-year forward Cole Frilling led the game against Arcadia with 20 points and 12 rebounds, recording his ninth double-double of the season. Graduate student guard Danny Frauenheim led all players with 7 assists, notching 174 for the season and achieving a new program record. Third-year guard Luke Thorburn had a season high of 16 points and 6 rebounds. The team shot 46.6% from the field and had 40 rebounds. 

The game had a slow start for both teams, with a couple of possessions without scoring by each team. Finally, Thorburn made a free throw and a jump shot that had the Spartans leading by 3 with 18:41 left in the first half. Another layup by Thorburn gave the Spartans their largest lead of the half while Arcadia remained scoreless with 16:17 left. 

The Knights were able to tie the game after a successful 3-pointer with 12:09 left in the half but that shot was quickly reciprocated by second-year forward Umar Rashid, giving the Spartans the lead once again. The Knights took the lead after two successful free throws which left CWRU trailing by 1—a gap that was difficult for the Spartans to close through the remainder of this first half. Despite tying the game multiple times for the rest of the half, and even taking the lead at some point, the Spartans still trailed by 1 into the second half. 

An early layup by Frauenheim gave him his first two points of the night and tied the game. A subsequent layup by Frauenheim again gave the Spartans a two-point lead. It was a 3-pointer by Cole Frilling that allowed the Spartans to regain their lead and maintain it for the rest of the night. The largest lead came after Frilling made another successful 3-pointer with 5:25 left, putting CWRU up by 15. Despite the Knight’s attempt to come back, the game ended after a missed 3-pointer and Rashid obtained a defensive rebound with six seconds left.

Unfortunately for CWRU fans, the result was not the same the following night at the Horsburgh Gymnasium. Although the Spartans overcame a double-digit lead against the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, it was not enough to take home the win. Graduate student guard Mitch Prendergast led all CWRU players with 24 points followed by Rashid with 18 points. Thorburn and second-year guard Sam Trunley each had 10 points. Frauenheim added 10 more assists, making the program-record 184. Frilling led all players with 10 rebounds. CWRU shot 26-63 from the field goal range (41.3%) and 10-26 (37.0%) from beyond the arc to go along with 39 rebounds. UW-Whitewater shot 23-58 (39.7%) overall, 11-25 (44.0%) from the 3-point range and collected 43 rebounds. 

CWRU started out the game with a 3-pointer from Prendergast, giving the Spartans their largest lead of the night. Despite a relatively close game throughout the first 12 minutes, the Warhawks proceeded to go on a 20-10 run which put them up by 11 with 2:32 remaining in the first half. Two 3-pointers from Trunley and Rashid allowed the Spartans to trail by only 4 heading into the second half. 

The Spartans tied the game into this second half after Prendergast hit a 3-pointer and obtained a lead after Prendergast made a layup. However, a 12-2 run by the Warhawks left CWRU trailing by 10 with 7:22 left on the clock. The Spartans, however, did not give up and another 3-pointer by Rashid helped cut the deficit to 1. After some more difficult minutes, the Spartans found themselves once again down by 7 with 37 seconds left. A defensive rebound followed by a 3-pointer by Trunley gave the Spartans a glimmer of hope, closing the gap to 4. With 23 seconds left Rashid got a steal and made a layup, but, ultimately, after a free throw made by the Warhawks and a missed shot, the Spartans were unable to tie the game. 

With this, the best season in program history came to an end. We are excited to see what this team has to bring next year.