After losing two consecutive conference games, the men’s basketball team bounced back in a big way last weekend by defeating UAA opponents Case Western Reserve and Emory. On Friday night, the ‘Jackets routed Case 84-43 at the Louis Alexander Palestra. UR came out strong as they went on a 20-3 run in the first half. After the scoring tirade, UR led 32-12 with 6:18 left in the half. They led 38-16 at the break.

Juniors Rob Dominiak and Jon Onyiriuka led the team in scoring with 14 points apiece. For Dominiak, it was a career high while Onyiriuka shot seven of eight from the field.

Senior Tim Brackney finished with 12 and sophomore Mike Chmielowiec had 11 in the winning effort. Junior Jeff Juron scored seven points and finished with six assists, while junior Dan Milbrand grabbed six rebounds and blocked two shots.

“All week we had been a little bit bitter about what had taken place [losing to Wash. U and Chicago] that we took a much more focused approach to our preparation for the coming weekend,” Onyiriuka said.

UR’s defense forced 28 turnovers while holding Case to just 32 percent shooting in the first half. The Yellowjackets capitalized on Case’s turnovers as they converted them into 32 points. Case’s Steve Young was the game’s leading scorer with 19 points, shooting seven of 11 from the field and drilling four of seven three-pointers.

On Sunday, the Yellowjackets took down Emory 84-75 at the Palestra. Six UR players finished the game with double digits in the point’s column. Chmielowiec led the team with 16 points and finished with four assists and six rebounds. Onyiriuka had a double-double finishing with 14 points and 10 rebounds. He also dished out three assists with two steals. Brackney scored 12 points while senior Eric Snider finished with a career high 11 points.

Dominiak and Juron also finished with 11 points each. Juron added five assists, while junior Uche Ndubizu just missed a double-double, scoring nine points and ripping 10 boards.

Emory led early, jumping out to a 17-10 lead and was up eight, 35-27, with 5:20 to play in the first half. Then the ‘Jackets rallied, going on an 11-2 run to take the lead 38-37 with 2:24 to play in the half. During the comeback, Brackney drained two threes, Snider made a couple free throws and Juron nailed a trey to finally take the lead.

Emory then took back the lead on a three-pointer from Adrian Sosa, making it 41-39, but Snider scored five points in a row to put the ‘Jackets ahead 44-41 at halftime.

With 42 seconds he made a lay-up with a foul and drained the free throw and put in another layup at the buzzer.

Most of the second half was tight as well. UR took a seven point lead before Emory cut it to one, 63-62, with 7:47 left in the game. Then UR went on another run, netting 11 straight points to take the lead 73-63 with 3:46 to play. The charge consisted of layups by Ndubizu and Onyiriuka, a Ndubizu free throw and a Chmielowiec free throw. The play that capped off the run and increased the momentum to a maximum was Chmielowiec’s four-point play. As he shot a three from the left wing, he was hammered on the arm for the “and one.”

UR’s foul shooting iced the game as they were eight of 12 in the last minute and a half while sinking 26 of 34 on the day. Emory was impressive from the line as well, making 15 of 18. Emory’s Spiros Ferderigos tied Chmielowiec as the game’s leading scorer with 16 points.

He also had seven assists and three steals. Sosa and Johnny Pinto each scored 15 points and made three three-pointers for the Eagles. Emory shot 50 percent from beyond the arc making eight of 16 shots.

The ‘Jackets are now 13-5 overall and 4-3 in the University Athletic Association. They are tied for third place with Carnegie Mellon in the conference standings. Emory falls to 7-10 overall and is 1-6 in the UAA.

The Yellowjackets will travel to Cleveland and Atlanta this weekend to face Case and Emory again as they begin their second half of conference play.

“Each game from here on out is going to be much tougher, and we are going to have to continue to strive to get better each day in practice,” Onyiriuka said when asked about the rest of the UAA schedule.

Kahovec is a member of the class of 2008.

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