Basketball defeats New York University away
Carnegie Mellon had the momentum going into the Brandeis game after coming off a strong, 43-point half to defeat New York University Friday night. The Tartans fell three points short of a promising weekend on Sunday, losing to Brandeis 84–81. Sunday saw one of Greg Gonzalez’s biggest performances of the season, as the team scored 21 points and pulled down 14 rebounds.
Junior Terrance Bouldin-Johnson also tied a career high with nine rebounds. Despite winning the rebounding war, the Tartans could not outscore the Judges on Brandeis home court.
Gonzalez, who had his second straight double-double in the game, gave Carnegie Mellon a one-point lead with five minutes left to play after four straight foul shots. On the Judges’ next possession, they connected on a fadeaway jumper with 4:44 left, regaining the lead and holding on for good.
“We just couldn’t get over the hump,” said guard Corey O’Rourke, who finished with 13 points. “Once they took the lead, we just let them get another big lead. We couldn’t buckle down and get stops. We made a little push at the end, but it was too little, too late.”
Too little, too late: This has been the story for the Tartans this season, cashing in on a few key opportunities but falling short of anything substantial when the opportunity arises. The team saw it happen last weekend when the players dropped two games on the road, the UAA title in the balance. They dropped two close games at home to Brandeis and NYU, which could have easily kept them in the league until the end.
“We have to keep it together,” said Bouldin-Johnson, who had a career-high five blocked shots in Sunday’s game. “We played a tough schedule this year. We have to handle our business these last few games and hope that our schedule can earn us a postseason bid.”
A postseason bid is likely for the Tartans; however, an NCAA bid is probably a long shot. At this point, the best record they can hope for is 17–8, which will fall short of the 20-win plateau that usually guarantees a bid. Carnegie Mellon may have some impressive wins on its résumé, but their losses will probably work against them.
“NYU at home was huge,” said junior forward Jon Wolleben of the at-home loss. “You can justify dropping games to Chicago or Washington, but NYU was one we should’ve taken care of.”
The Tartans got their revenge on the Violets Friday night. Big games from Ryan Einwag and Jack Anderson propelled Carnegie Mellon ahead in the second half for a comfortable eight-point victory. Anderson connected on four three-point shots, adding three more free throws for a total of 15 points. Einwag was a perfect 6 for 6 from the free-throw line and finished up with 18 points.
Carnegie Mellon returns home this weekend to face off against Case Western Reserve and Emory. The team hopes to get two wins, thereby gaining some momentum for its final showdown with sixth-ranked University of Rochester at home.