Senior Jim Gordon and junior Adam Gigax combined for 53 points, and the Emory men's basketball staged another dramatic rally down the stretch of regulation in scrapping to a Friday evening overtime win at home over Case Western Reserve. Emory improved to 16-7 in overall play, 7-5 in the University Athletic Association, following a 99-92 decision over the Spartans who slipped to 7-16 overall, 2-10 in the conference.
Gordon led all players with a career-high 30 points, hitting eight-of-13 from the floor, including four-of-seven from three-point range, and 10-of-12 from the charity stripe in racking up his 21st double-digit outing of the year and fourth of 20 or more points. Gigax totaled 23 points, 20 coming in the second half and extra session, concluding the night converting six-of-16 field goal opportunities and nine free throws in 10 tries. Sophomore Geberal Baitey continued his solid play off the bench, totaling 12 points, his third double-figure effort in the past four games, connecting on four field goals in nine attempts and going four-of-four at the stripe. Junior Whit Rapp rounded out the double-figure scorers for Emory with 11 points, five coming in overtime, which included a huge three-pointer.
Case scored the first four points of the extra session to go ahead by an 89-85 count. Emory got on the board with 3:02 left when Baitey hit a jumper. After a free throw by senior Austin DaGue, a steal by Gordon and his subsequent layup gave the Eagles a 90-89 edge with 1:51 on the clock. However, the Spartans re-claimed the lead on their next possession when Sam Hansen buried a trey with 1:40 remaining. Emory then took the lead for good with 1:29 remaining when Rapp buried a three pointer, putting it ahead by a 93-92 count. From there, the Eagles accounted for the game's final six points, with Rapp, Gigax and Gordon all knocking down two free throws over the final 45 seconds.
Emory ended the game shooting 40.3 percent (25 of 62) from the floor while CWRU registered a mark of 39.7 percent (31 of 78). The Eagles connected on 36.4 percent from beyond the arc (8 of 22) compared to the Spartans' 32.4 percent (12 of 37). Emory was excellent at the foul line, hitting a school 41 from the stripe in 47 attempts for an 87.2 percent showing while Case closed out at 64.3 percent (18 of 28). Emory grabbed 48 rebounds to CWRU's 41 and was led in that category by Gordon's nine boards.
Trailing by nine at the break, Emory scored the first eight points of the second half, started by a Gordon basket and then followed by six straight points by Gigax, to cut the deficit to one point. A Gigax three pointer gave the Eagles their first lead in the half at 52-50 with 15:06 left. The game was nip-and-tuck over the next three minutes with Emory holding a three-point lead, 62-59 with 12:12 on the clock after sophomore Spencer Osborne hit a pair of free throws. A 7-0 Case spurt, capped by a Connor Nally triple, allowed the visitors to claim a 66-62 lead, but a Gigax jumper put Emory up by a point with 9:28 remaining. The Spartans countered with a 12-2 blitz that gave them the first of three nine-point leads over a three-minute stretch, 78-69 with 7:23 on the clock. Emory trailed by an 84-75 margin with 4:39 left after Javier Alvaraez made two-of-three foul shots, but stunned Case with an 10-0 charge, which saw Gordon score three points and Gigax nail a triple in that run, to take an 85-84 lead with just 46 seconds left. Alvarez tied the score with 31 ticks when he made the first of two free throws. His second attempt missed its mark but Case was awarded the ball when it went out of bounds. However, the Spartans couldn't get a shot off, forcing the extra time.
Despite Gordon's 16 first-half points, which saw him drain four-of-six from distance, Emory went into halftime staring at a 46-37 deficit. The Eagles were successful on 36 percent (9 of 25) of their field goal tries with Case checking in at 39.5 percent (15 of 38). A three-pointer by Gordon provided Emory with its biggest lead of the half at 23-18 with 9:05 on the clock, but Case answered by scoring nine of the game's next 10 points to take a 27-24 advantage. A three pointer by Emory's Austin DaGue put the Eagles to within one point with 4:33 remaining, but a 12-3 Spartans' flurry, that saw Sam Hansen and Alvarez each tally five points, put the visitors ahead by a 42-32 margin with 2:54 left. A three pointer by Gordon cut the gap to seven points, but a pair of Case free throws, followed by a layup by T.J. Duckett extended the Spartans cushion to 11 points with 11 ticks on the clock
Emory returns to action on Sunday (Feb. 19) when it hosts Carnegie Mellon in a noon tip.
Whit Rapp hits a three pointer, giving Emory a 93-92 lead in overtime.