Cleveland, Ohio, Jan. 29, 2017 – Junior forward Andrew Sanders scored a career-high 30 points to lead the No. 8-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team to an 88-77 win at Case Western Reserve University on Sunday in University Athletic Association (UAA) play during the Spartans throwback weekend.
WashU improved its overall record to 15-3, 7-0 in the conference, while Case Western fell to 5-13, 0-7 in the UAA. The Bears extended their conference-winning streak to 12 games dating back to last season, third-active longest streak in NCAA Division III.
Junior guard Kevin Kucera narrowly missed a double-double as he totaled 13 points and eight assists, while seniors Michael Bregman (15) and Clinton Hooks (12) also reached double-figures for the Bears.
WashU scored 22 points off of turnovers, while finishing the game with 12 steals and six blocks. The Bears also shot 22-of-27 from the charity stripe.
The Bears quickly jumped ahead of the Spartans as WashU was a perfect five-of-five from the field within the first two minutes. Hooks hit a jumper from the wing and a three pointer before connecting with Bregman for a basket.
WashU remained proficient and built a double-digit lead moments later causing multiple Case Western timeouts. Sanders made multiple contested layups in the paint to put the Bears ahead by 16 points, but following a two-minute drought for both teams the Spartans offense awakened. Case Western went on a 14-4 run to end the first half and cut the Bears lead to 44-40.
Sanders led both teams at the half with 15 points while shooting 77.8 percent (7-9) from the floor. Hooks was a perfect 3-of-3 from the floor at the half for seven points during eight minutes of play but did not see the court again after picking up two fouls in 31 seconds.
The Bears collectively shot 61.3 percent (19-31) from the field but the Spartans made five three pointers and seven free throws to exceed WashU's totals.
The Spartans erased WashU's halftime lead with the first five points of the second half beginning a back-and-forth swapping of leads. Hooks put the Bears back up by a single point with a triple, 50-49, which the Bears built back into an eight-point advantage.
Case capped off an 11-2 run with a three pointer which put the Spartans ahead 72-71 with 4:17 remaining. Junior David Schmelter momentarily put WashU back ahead with a layup before two Spartan free throws switched the advantage for the final time. The Bears did not relinquish the lead following Kucera's three pointer with 3:28 left. Sanders added to his career-high total with back to back baskets before clutch free- throws from junior Jake Knupp, Sanders and Kucera sealed the WashU victory.
TJ Duckett led Case Western with 21 points off the bench as the Bears finished the game with 12 steals. Sam Hansen (17), Connor Nally (14) and Javier Alvarez (10) also reached double-figures for the Spartans.
WashU returns home to start the second half of conference play against Carnegie Mellon University on Friday, Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. and Case Western Reserve on Sunday, Feb. 5 at Noon.
BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU leads the all-time series with Case Western Reserve, 44-5 … The Bears are 10-1 away from home this year, and have won six-straight road games … WashU has won nine-straight games, their longest winning streak since the 2014-15 season … The Spartans have lost seven-straight games, and are 1-8 this season at home … The Bears are 7-1 this season when recording 20 or more assists … Kucera is 11 points shy of 500 for his career.