PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Junior forward Austin Fowler (Farmington Hills, Mich./ Birmingham Brother Rice) posted a team-high 16 points, but the Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team squandered a 10-point halftime advantage in a 72-69 loss in the 2011-12 finale at rival Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.) on Saturday at Skibo Gymnasium.
With the setback, the Spartans finish at 10-15 overall and 2-12 in the University Athletic Association. Carnegie Mellon finishes the campaign at 9-16 and 4-10 UAA.
Carnegie Mellon got out of the gate quickly grabbing an 8-1 advantage when Sean Brophy connected on a three-point field goal just 2:31 into action. The Spartans answered with an 8-2 surge of their own and trailed 10-9 following a lay-up from junior Robert Scott (Paoli, Pa./Conestoga) at 15:13. The two sides then exchanged baskets before the Spartans eventually knotted the score at 16-16 with 11:22 left on a three-pointer from freshman forward Dane McLoughlin (Westerville, Ohio/St. Charles Preparatory). Over the ensuing eight minutes, Case rattled off a 21-8 run capped off by a lay-up from freshman guard Julien Person (Houston, Texas/Second Baptist) giving the visitors their largest advantage of the game at 13 (37-24) with 3:22 left before halftime. Case would eventually get into the locker room with a 41-31 lead.
In the second half, the Spartans were able to keep the Carnegie Mellon comeback attempts at bay and pushed their advantage back out to 13, at 59-46, on a made free throw from Scott with 8:37 showing on the clock. However, the Tartans mounted a comeback with a 24-8 run and used an old-fashioned three-point play by Duhring to move ahead 68-67 with 53 seconds remaining. On the Spartans' next possession, freshman guard Jordan Dean (St. Johns, Fla./Creekside) knocked down a pair of charity tosses to regain the lead before CMU's Rashaun Riley made a lay-up to put CMU back on top with :20 left. A pair of three-point attempts in the waning seconds for the Spartans fell off the rim as the Tartans hung on for the UAA victory.
Fowler's 16 points were accompanied by seven rebounds, while McLoughlin ended the final game of his freshman campaign with 14 points and a career-best tying nine rebounds. Person also finished in double-digits for Case with 14 points.
Carnegie Mellon was led by Joe Kromka's game-high 22 points along with eight rebounds, while Christian Manoli and Riley each finished with 13 points, respectively.