Another two UAA triumphs
For the second time in less than a week, the Carnegie Mellon men’s basketball team defeated UAA arch-rival Washington University in St. Louis Friday night 79–72 to regain the top spot in the UAA standings.
The Tartans came out slow to start the game, taking their first lead off of junior Brad Matta’s basket, which put the Tartans up 20–19. But the Bears of Washington University quickly put up a 10–0 run and continued to lead going into halftime with the score 36–30.
In the second half, the Tartans began to fight their way back into the game. Following a poor first half in which the team only shot 33.3 percent from the field, the Tartans came out firing in the second half, shooting 57.1 percent.
The Tartans led 72–68 with 1:09 left in the game before Wash U. guard Scott Stone nailed a three-pointer with 47 seconds left to make the score 75-72. After some clutch free throws by A.J. Straub, the Tartans capped off the victory with a Nate Maurer dunk as time expired.
“We never hit the panic button,” said Matta, who contributed nine points and four rebounds. “We kept our composure and played like champions, and when you do that the result will be a win.”
With the victory, Tartans coach Tony Wingen surpassed F.M. Cratsley (1949–1966) on the all-time wins list with 174 wins during his 16 years as the Tartans men’s basketball coach.
The Tartans looked to continue their success going into Sunday’s match against the University of Chicago Maroons. The team was looking for revenge after falling to the Maroons 77–80 in OT last Friday.
Carnegie Mellon came out of the gate cold and quickly found themselves down 0–13. The Tartans continued to struggle with their shooting throughout the first half and went into the break trailing Chicago by 10, 33–43.
In the second half, the Tartans slowly began to find the basket and finally took their first lead of the game on a Straub three-pointer with 3:42 left in the game to put the Tartans ahead 66–65. Carnegie Mellon never looked back as they continued to put points on the board until the final buzzer. Despite going nearly 37 minutes without leading, the Tartans pulled out the victory 76–67.
“It was a good win for us,” said Maurer, a senior, who led the Tartans with 26 points. “We went almost the entire game without leading, so the fact that we were able to pull out this victory means a lot and shows that we’re never out of it.”
Senior Marques Johnson, who scored 14 points, said it was a satisfying win. “After dropping a game in overtime to them last week, and then trailing most of today’s game, it felt good to pull out a victory since every win against a UAA opponent is a crucial one.”
The Tartans head into next weekend as the top team in the UAA as they play host to NYU and Brandeis. The first game is in Skibo Gymnasium on Friday at 8 pm.