CLEVELAND, Ohio – The host Case Western Reserve University Spartans got a career-high 31 points from senior Tom Summers, part of a 70% shooting performance from the floor in the second half, as the Spartans defeated visiting Brandeis University, 91-68, in a University Athletic Association men's basketball contest tonight. Despite the loss, which drops the Judges to 11-8 overall, 5-3 in the UAA, Brandeis is still just one game back in the UAA standings as front-runner Washington University also suffered a defeat tonight at the University of Rochester. Case snaps an eight-game losing streak, including seven in a row in the conference, to improve to 9-10, 1-8 UAA.
Summers was the big difference in the contest, scoring 20 points of his 31 points in just 14 minutes in the second half. He finished the game 13-of-16 from the field and 5-of-5 from the line, and also tied for game-high honors with nine rebounds. Summers did not miss in the second half, when he went 8-for-8 from the floor and 2-for-2 from the charity stripe. Case also had two other players finish in double figures, as David Thompson had 12 – 10 in the first half – while Austin Fowler just missed a double-double as well with 11 points and nine caroms. Thompson added three blocked shots, while Fowler had four assists, one shy of rookie reserve Robert Scott's game-high five helpers.
Brandeis also had three players score in double figures. Senior forward Vytas Kriskus (Kvedarna, Lithuania/Holderness (N.H.) School) led the way with 16 points, eight coming in each half. Kriskus hit 6-of-14 overall with a 3-pointer, and 4-of-5 from the line. Sophomore forward Youri Dascy (Fall River, Mass./St. Andrews (R.I.) School) and junior guard Jay Freeman (Dorchester, Mass./St. Mark's School) each finished with 13 points. Dascy led the Judges with seven rebounds, but was the only Brandeis player with more than four as Case owned a 43-31 edge on the boards. Dascy also had three blocked shots. Senior guard Tyrone Hughes (Dorchester, Mass./Taft School) finished with nine points and three assists. Brandeis, the Division III's leading 3-point shooting team at 42.7%, struggled from long range, hitting just 4-of-14 (28.6%).
The first half seemed like business as usual between the Judges and Spartans, whose previous three games had been decided by a total of 12 points. The first 20 minutes featured five ties and six lead changes. Brandeis led by as many as six points just over eight minutes into the game on a put-back by junior center Wouter van der Eng (Alphen aun der Rijn, The Netherlands/Kimball Union (N.H.) Acad.) that made it 20-14. The Spartans responded with 12 of the next 14 points, with six different players contributing to the run that gave them the lead for good on a Ken Gibbons lay-up at the 7:50 mark. Case looked to gain momentum with a five-point edge with 62 seconds left in the half, but Brandeis got a couple of late buckets from Kriskus and van der Eng to cut the lead to 36-35 at the break.
The Spartans did not waste any time in pulling away in the second half, as they scored on their first seven possessions, while the Judges missed their first five shots and committed one turnover in the first 3:09. After the hosts opened up a 12-point lead on a Julien Person 3-pointer, Brandeis sophomore Ben Bartoldus (Hillsborough, N.H./Proctor Acad.) answered from deep to slow the momentum briefly. A Dascy fast-break lay-up at the 13:40 mark made it a 51-43 deficit for the Judges, but Case went on another 10-0 run to put the game away. The Spartans would end up missing just nine of their 30 attempts in the second half (70%) as they finished with their highest scoring output of the season.