Men's basketball defeats Case Western
As fiery as Ryan Einwag gets during the game, thumping his chest after making baskets and hollering after hard fouls, he’s the polar opposite in the locker room afterwards. You won’t hear a peep out of Einwag’s mouth in reference to his personal performance. He’d rather talk about how the Tartans did with defense or ran their sets, or, most importantly, what the final score was.
“I’m just trying to win basketball games,” said Einwag. “I don’t care much about anything else. I want to play well, but it’s more important to me that we get the win, regardless of how much I score. I want to hear about how the whole team did.”
Einwag was utterly dominating in a road victory against league rival Case Western Reserve University. He torched the Spartans for 30 points on 11–17 shooting, including 3–5 from beyond the arc. His high percentage shooting helped the Tartans finish at nearly 51 percent for the game enroute to a fourteen-point victory, 86–72. Einwag also pulled down seven rebounds.
“We knew he was going to be special since he got here two years ago,” said senior co-captain Greg Gonzalez. “He was as talented as he was competitive. He reminded most of the upperclassmen of Nate [Maurer].” Maurer led the Tartans in scoring during their University Athletic Association (UAA) title run two years ago.
While Einwag led all scorers with 30 and stole most of the ink, Gonzalez compiled career highs in two categories. He netted a career high 25 points and tied his career-high with four blocks. Add 12 rebounds to that already impressive stat sheet, and you’ve got yet another double-double (double-digit numbers in two categories) by the 6'8" Texan during the ’07–’08 campaign.
Geoff Kozak added 16 points and four assists for the Tartans. Jack Anderson returned from his ankle injury, coming off the bench to log 17 minutes. “This is what I came back for,” said Gonzalez, who returned to Carnegie Mellon for his fifth year after a medical red-shirt kept him out of competition last year. “Everyone really started contributing at a high level [Friday].”
Unfortunately, the high level couldn’t continue into Sunday. The Tartans fell to Emory in Atlanta on Sunday afternoon by four points, letting their record slip to 11–5 overall, including 1–4 in the UAA. It was another poor shooting performance, as Carnegie Mellon shot 40 percent from the field compared to Emory’s 51 percent shooting.
In a game that saw a grand total of 94 free throws attempted, there was no opportunity to establish a physical presence for either team. There were sections of the game in which whistles were blowing on every possession, stopping play for touch fouls and subtle bumps. It left much to be desired in terms of pace of play, allowing the winner of the game to be the team with enough men left standing. It wasn’t about execution as much as it was about fundamental foul shooting.
Despite solid contributions off the bench by junior forward Jon Wolleben and first-year Shane Rife, who each contributed six and nine points, respectively, the Tartans couldn’t get it going down the stretch. Emory took a one-point lead off of two foul shots from player Spiros Ferderigos, with about four minutes left to play. The Eagles kept the lead the rest of the way, holding off Carnegie Mellon’s surges until the final whistle sounded. The Eagles defended their home court successfully, earning a final score of 89–85.
“The free throws numbers were kind of deceiving,” said Kozak, who fouled out after leading the Tartans with 20 points. “Corey [O’Rourke] made a bunch at the end to inflate our percentage. With all the fouls that got called for both teams, it was more of a free-throw shooting contest than a game. And you can’t win a free-throw shooting contest by shooting 60 percent.”
The team host the University of Chicago on Friday, Feb. 1 at 8 p.m. at Skibo Gymnasium, directly following the “Think Pink” event.