Men’s basketball win streak extends to 12 with blowout win vs. NYU


Courtesy of CWRU Athletics

Following their victory against NYU, the men’s basketball team ranks first in the UAA standings, tying them with WashU.

Gaurav Hardikar, Staff Writer

After losing the season opener to the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire in the Bill Sudeck Tournament, the Case Western Reserve University men’s basketball team has been absolutely tearing through their opponents, sparking a 12-game winning streak that was capped off with last Friday’s 98-71 victory at New York University.

The NYU Violets had been off to a solid start themselves, entering the weekend with a 9-1 record and ready to host the 11-1 Spartans. However, CWRU grabbed an early lead and never looked back, raining buckets all throughout the first half.

Though initially trailing with a score of 3-0, graduate student guard Griffin Kornaker got the Spartans going with a layup that ignited an 8-0 run before NYU retaliated with a jump shot to put the Violets within 3. CWRU got another scoring spurt going and soon found themselves up 21-7 while evenly spreading around the scoring efforts.

The game already seemed hopeless for NYU: for every point they scored, CWRU retaliated with a barrage of their own. At one point, NYU’s deficit ballooned from 7-21 to 11-41, continuing to do so until the halftime whistle mercifully blew. By halftime, the Spartans rested comfortably with a 52-24 chokehold over the stumbling Violets.

Though the Violets were able to outscore the Spartans in the second half, 47-46, the damage of the first half put any chance of redemption for NYU out of reach. NYU scored first again to begin the half, but fourth-year guard Robert Faller nailed a three-pointer to nudge the lead higher. Another NYU layup later and it seemed as though the home team had finally found life despite the grueling opening half. Unfortunately for them, CWRU was ready to match them shot for shot. Faller iced the game with a three-point play, making the free throw after being fouled on the made layup to put the Spartans up by 30.

Desperate to stop the bleeding, the Violets called a timeout but it didn’t make much of a difference. They went 1-for-2 on their next pair of free throws before Kornaker sank a three-pointer and, with it, the hopes of the home team. NYU’s spotty free throw shooting continued to haunt them as the score sat at 62-33 and it felt as if the Violets were doing nothing but damage control at this point anyway. NYU nailed a three before second-year forward Hunter Drenth made one of his own, with Kornaker adding a jump to top it off. 

NYU finally managed to put together a string of good plays that culminated in an 8-0 run, but a jump shot from graduate student guard Mitch Prendergast got the Spartans right back into rhythm. As the blowout wound to a close, the Spartans coaches began to sub in their bench players, who sealed the 98-71 road demolition.

Faller, Prendergast and third-year forward Cole Frilling were the standouts in the impressive victory, combining for nearly half of CWRU’s points. Faller scored 19 points with 5 rebounds and 4 assists, while Prendergast scored 15 points and had 2 rebounds and 1 assist. Frilling ended with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. 

Other noteworthy performances were by second-year forward Daniel Florey, who shot nothing but threes at 75% accuracy, and by Kornaker, who did a little bit of everything with his 7 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists. 

The purely dominant team performance by the Spartans was evident in every metric. They outperformed the Violets in field goals made, field goal percentage, 3-pointers made, 3-point percentage, free throw percentage, rebounds, assists, second-chance points, points in the paint, fastbreak points and bench points. 

After back-to-back conference wins, the Spartans look to keep the extraordinary win streak going with more conference games ahead to close out the season. The Jan. 16 game at Brandeis University was postponed, so CWRU’s next chance to assert dominance will be when they host Emory University on Jan. 21.