From NYU Athletics
The New York University men's basketball team won its first University Athletic Association game of the season, defeating Case Western Reserve University 81-71 on Friday, February 8, at the Sportsplex in Manhattan.
The Violets (7-14, 1-9) overcame a 10-point, first-half deficit to record the first UAA victory for rookie Head Coach Dagan Nelson.
"It's definitely satisfying. It feels good," Nelson said. "But, I'm happier for the players. They've continued to work hard in practice and they deserved this outcome tonight. Their spirit has been outstanding."
Trailing 16-6 after five minutes, the Violets battled back to a 26-26 tie. Then, with the scored knotted at 28, NYU ended the first half on a 13-4 run and took a 41-32 lead into the locker room.
The Spartans (9-12, 2-8) scored the first five points of the second half and pulled within one point on a pair of occasions in the second half, but NYU never relinquished its lead.
Ahead just 64-63 in the waning moments, Dom Cristiano and Alex Casieri hit back-to-back buckets to create some breathing room as NYU ended the game on a 17-8 run to secure the win.
Cristiano led five Violets in double figures with 19 points. Bobby Hawkinson finished with 14 points and a career-best 15 rebounds in posting his fourth double-double of the season.
Also scoring in double figures for NYU were Jule Brown (13), Jimmy Martinelli (11) and Jordan Harris (10). Harris also led the team with five assists as the Violets shot 53.8 percent (28-of-52) from the field.
"We had great balanced scoring. Every run they threw at us we matched," Nelson explained. "We responded the right way and made good decisions down the stretch."
Ignas Masiulionis led Case Western Reserve with 19 points.