Cleveland, Ohio, Jan. 24, 2014 – Senior forward Chris Klimek scored 26 points and pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds to propel the No. 8-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team to a 77-64 win at Case Western Reserve University in University Athletic Association (UAA) action Friday night.
After leading by five at halftime, the Bears extended their lead to 39-31 with 18:17 remaining after back-to-back layups by junior forward Nick Burt and a layup by Klimek. Case went on a 19-7 run over the next 5:37 to take a 50-46 lead with 12:40 left in the game, but a basket by Klimek sparked a 20-1 run that gave the Bears the lead for good. Washington U.'s defense held the Spartans without a field goal for 7:47 and Klimek and senior guard Alan Aboona combined for 18 of the Bears' 20 points during the decisive run. Klimek's fifth layup of the run gave Washington U. its largest lead of the game with 5:40 remaining.
Case answered with a 9-0 run, including 5-of-6 from the free-throw line, to trim the lead to 66-60 with 3:49 left. After a timeout by the Bears, a basket by Aboona and four points by Klimek made the score 72-62 in favor of Washington U. The Spartans got a second-chance basket to again make it an eight-point game, but senior guard Tim Cooney went 5-of-6 at the free-throw line in the final minute to seal the win for the Bears.
Washington U. jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the opening five minutes of play behind four points by Burt and three by Klimek. The Bears limited Case to 2-of-9 from the field to start the game, and a three from the wing by Cooney followed by a basket by Klimek pushed Washington U.'s lead to 17-7 with 11:46 to play in the opening half. The Spartans picked it up offensively to go on a 16-4 run and take their second lead of the game at 23-21 with 5:28 left in the half.
After a timeout by the Bears, a layup by Klimek sparked a 12-5 run to end the half as Washington U. took a 33-28 lead in the locker room. The Bears were outrebounded 18-13 in the opening 15 minutes of the half, but won the rebounding battle 8-4 during the run to end the half.
Washington U. shot 44.8 percent (30-67) from the field in the game, including 48.4 percent (15-31) in the second half. Case finished 22-of-63 (34.9 percent) from the field. The Bears outrebounded Case 49-36 and finished with a 44-22 advantage in points in the paint.
Klimek led all scorers with 26 points and had 10 of his game-high 18 rebounds on the offensive glass. Cooney finished with 18 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals. Aboona and Burt each finished with 12 points. Aboona also added eight assists and four rebounds. Junior forward Matt Palucki scored five points and equaled his career-high with 12 rebounds.
Washington U. (13-2, 4-0 UAA) heads east to take on Carnegie Mellon University Sunday, Jan. 26, in Pittsburgh. Tip-off is set for Noon (ET) at Skibo Gymnasium.
Bear Notebook: Washington U. leads the all-time series with Case Western Reserve, 39-4, and the Bears have won the last 18 meetings … The win was number 596 for head coach Mark Edwards, and secured the 30th consecutive winning season for the Bears … The Bears improved to 11-1 when leading at the half this season, and have won 111 of their last 119 games when gaining the halftime advantage … WUSTL has won a season-high eight-straight games … Klimek surpassed the 900-point mark, and is now 79 points shy of becoming the 21st member of Washington U.'s 1,000-point club … Cooney's three steals brought his career total to 129, which is two shy of passing Sean Wallis for 10th on WUSTL's career leaderboard … Aboona has made a three-pointer in 31 straight games, and now has 141 in his career, which is two shy of passing Kevin Suiter on the all-time list … Aboona also passed Scott Stone to move into fifth on the all-time career assists leaderboard with 363 … It was the 50th career double-digit scoring game for Klimek, and his second career double-double.