The Case Western Reserve University men’s basketball team lost their season and home opener to Baldwin Wallace University, 90-76. The Spartans are now 0-1 on the young season as they look to get underway with new Head Coach Todd McGuinness.
The game was a tale of two halves for the Spartans. While the first half saw competitive, back-and-forth action, Baldwin Wallace pulled away in the second, outscoring the Spartans by 11 points.
In the first half and throughout the contest, the Spartans rode the hot hand of third-year forward T.J. Duckett, who exploded for 21 points off the bench on 8-of-12 shooting. To add to his total state line, Duckett also registered a game-high 13 rebounds. Both of those figures were career highs for Duckett as he recorded his first ever double-double. He was helped out by third-year forward David Black, who added 16 points.
The Spartans took an early 19-12 lead in the contest with just under 13 minutes remaining in the first half. The Yellow Jackets, however, responded with a run of their own, tying the game 25-25 with just over nine minutes to go. Whenever the Spartans managed to build a lead, the Yellow Jackets would respond. Baldwin Wallace put together an 8-0 run to the end of the half and went into the break with a 49-46 advantage over the Spartans. CWRU shot a blistering 57.6 percent from the field in the first half, compared to 53.1 percent for Baldwin Wallace.
In the second half, however, it was all Baldwin Wallace.
The Yellow Jackets separated themselves with a 17-1 run that saw their lead balloon to 73-57 with about nine minutes remaining in the game. While the Spartans were able to cut the lead to as few as 12, it was with under two minutes left to play—too late for CWRU.
The Spartans saw their shooting percentage drop to 38.7 percent in the second half, as they were simply unable to score enough to keep up with Baldwin Wallace. McGuinness, when asked about the differences in his team’s offensive performances between the two halves said, “[We] just made more shots in the first half. We need to make our free throws and have less live ball turnovers. [We] can’t win games missing free throws all year.”
The Spartans were an abysmal 10-for-22 (45.5 percent) from the charity stripe while the Yellow Jackets were a decent 18-for-28 (64.3 percent).The two teams were tied in the rebound department with 39 each.
CWRU will play its next two games in the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Tournament. Hosted by the Spartans, the tournament’s games are today and tomorrow. Their first game tips tonight at 8 p.m. against Trinity College. Depending on the outcome, their second matchup is tomorrow at either 2 or 4 p.m.