Throwback Weekend goes as planned for CWRU men’s basketball


Naji Saker

Spartan men don red jerseys for victorious throwback games.

Gaurav Hardikar, Staff Reporter

The Case Western Reserve University men’s basketball team hosted conference opponents Brandeis University and New York University (NYU) for Throwback Weekend on Friday, Feb. 7 and Sunday, Feb. 9. The Spartans faced these two teams on the road the previous week, losing to Brandeis 71-64 and beating NYU 85-77. This time around, however, the Spartans made sure to prove that they were the better team in both games, establishing a three-win streak along the way.


The game against the Brandeis Judges was a close contest throughout, with the Spartans outscoring the Judges 39-31 in the first half. The second half was even closer, with each team scoring 45 points as CWRU walked away with an 84-76 win. Though the score was close the entire time, the Spartans outperformed the Judges in nearly every major category. The Spartans shot 48.4% from the field, 45.5% on three-pointers and 73.7% from the free throw line, compared to Brandeis’ 43.5% from the field, 36.4% from downtown and 70% on free throws. CWRU also tallied one more rebound, one more assist, one more steal, two more blocks and two fewer personal fouls than the Judges en route to their victory. 


Fourth-year forward Michael Hollis led the Spartans’ rebounding efforts, grabbing 11 boards. An impressive five Spartans scored in the double digits, three of whom came off the bench to do so. Starting third-year guard Antonio Ionadi recorded 21 points, three rebounds and an assist while starting first-year forward Cole Frilling recorded 11 points, four rebounds, and an assist. Among the reserves who scored at least 10 points were second-year forward Ryan Newton (13 points), third-year guard Ignas Masiulionis (14 points), and second-year guard Robert Faller (18 points). Newton helped his team on other fronts as well, recording eight rebounds (second most for the Spartans), four assists (team-high), and three blocks (team-high).


Two days after the energizing victory over Brandeis, CWRU hosted the NYU Violets and showed no mercy. The immense 47-22 deficit that NYU faced after the first half proved to be insurmountable, even though the second half was close, with the Spartans outscoring the Violets 43-38. Aside from steals, in which NYU had six as opposed to CWRU’s five, the Spartans once again outperformed their opponent in every major category to lift them to a dominant 90-60 victory. The Spartans shot far better than NYU from the field (53.8% to 34.8%) and on three-pointers (43.3% to 26.7%) which made a majority of the difference in the game. The Spartans also shot 70% from the free throw line and recorded 39 rebounds, 22 assists and five blocks compared to the Violets’ 66.7% free throw percentage, 35 rebounds, 11 assists, and two blocks. The Spartans also displayed better control, with one less turnover and two fewer personal fouls. Notable Spartan performances once again included Ionadi (17 points), Frilling (19 points), Newton (12 points), and Faller (11 points). Faller spread his efforts effectively as the only Spartan to record multiple points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. Hollis continued to grab boards on both ends for CWRU, recording three offensive rebounds and six defensive rebounds. 


The weekend was as successful as possible for CWRU as the team improved to an overall record of 11-9 and a conference record of 4-5 on the season. Spartan men’s basketball will seek to add to their win streak this week with conference games on the road against Washington University in St. Louis on Friday and The University of Chicago on Sunday.