CLEVELAND, Ohio – Trailing 19-4 with 9:59 remaining in the opening half, the Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team reeled off a 21-8 run before the halftime break on its way to a 70-65 victory versus North Coast Athletic Conference foe Denison University on Tuesday, November 22 inside Horsburgh Gymnasium.
With the victory, the Spartans level their record at 2-2 overall and have eight days off over the Thanksgiving break before returning to action on Wednesday, November 30 in a home game versus Oberlin College at 8:00 p.m. With the loss, the Big Red falls to 1-3 overall.
With the deficit sitting at 15 (19-4) with just under 10 minutes left in the opening stanza, the Spartans started clicking on each end of the floor. During the Spartan comeback run, sophomore center David Thompson (Plano, Texas/Plano Senior) led the offensive attack with six points cutting the halftime deficit to just two at 27-25, including a lay-up with :01 remaining on an assist by junior forward Austin Fowler (Farmington Hills, Mich./Birmingham Brother Rice). Senior captain Tom Summers (Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional) and freshman guard Joe Mims (Aurora, Ohio/Aurora) each added four points, respectively.
On the defensive end, the Spartans limited Denison to just 23.5 percent (4-of-17) shooting over the final 9:59 and forced two turnovers.
In the second, the Spartans took the lead for the first time in the game with an 11-2 run covering the opening 3:32 of play with four markers from Thompson, a three-pointer from freshman guard Jordan Dean (St. Johns, Fla./Creekside), and two points each from Summers and Fowler, giving the Spartans their largest lead of the game at seven, 36-29. The Big Red slowly chipped away at the lead, eventually knotting the game at 48-48 on a free throw by Dimonde Hale with 8:37 left.
Case quickly built its lead back up to seven, at 57-50, following a Summers' jumper with 6:04 left to play on an assist by junior guard Robert Scott (Paoli, Pa./Conestoga). Denison was able to get within two on two occasions down the stretch, the second coming when Hale hit a free throw to make the score 67-65 with 13 ticks left on the clock, but Mims hit a pair of charity tosses and freshman guard Julien Person (Houston, Texas/Second Baptist) hit one of two free throws sealing the victory.
Summers led the Spartan offensive attack with 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting and added four rebounds and two steals. Additionally, Thompson finished in double-figures with 13 points and tacked on a team-high eight rebounds. Off the bench, freshman forward Dane McLoughlin (Westerville, Ohio/St. Charles Preparatory) added a spark with eight points and a career-best six rebounds in just 19 minutes.
Denison was led by Hale with a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Larry Farmer added 12 points and a game-high seven assists.