Men’s basketball unable to shakeoff 11-game losing streak

Senior forward Jon Wolleben attempts to block a Maroon player from retrieving a rebound. The Tartans lost 57–71. (credit: Celia Ludwinski/Photo Editor) Senior forward Jon Wolleben attempts to block a Maroon player from retrieving a rebound. The Tartans lost 57–71. (credit: Celia Ludwinski/Photo Editor) Credit: Celia Ludwinski/Photo Editor Credit: Celia Ludwinski/Photo Editor

Over the past two weeks, the Carnegie Mellon men’s basketball team played five hard-fought games but were unable to snap an 11-game losing streak.
On Jan. 19, it appeared as though the Tartans were going to come away with a home victory against the Pioneers of Marietta, but were beat by an eight-foot shot at the buzzer. The 69–67 loss dropped the Tartans to 4–10 while the Pioneers moved to an even 8–8.

The Tartans came out hot, going on a 12–0 run and sinking 100 percent of their first seven shots. Junior Matt Pettit led the charge, scoring nine of the team’s first 12 points. With 5:36 remaining in the first half, it looked as though the Tartans were going to have a big lead going into the break, but a 17–2 run by the Pioneers put them just one point behind the home team at the end of the half. With just one minute remaining in the game, the Tartans went to the foul line four times but were only able to convert on two of the opportunities, tying the score at 67–67 with just 6.2 seconds left on the clock. The few seconds were just enough for the Pioneers to get off one final shot to come away with a victory.

“We came out strong and were shooting really well from the field early in the first half,” said Pettit, who led the Tartans with 16 points. “Putting two solid halves together is something we have been struggling with this year, and we need to figure out a way to maintain the momentum.”

During the weekend of Jan. 22, the Tartans hosted University Athletic Association (UAA) opponents University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis. On Friday, the Tartans dropped a 71–57 decision to the Maroons of Chicago. The Maroons took control of the game from the start, going on a 12–0 run, and maintained the lead for the rest of the game. Sophomore John Duhring led the Tartans with 13 points, followed by junior Shane Rife with 10 points.

On Sunday, the Tartans were unable to rebound from Friday’s loss and dropped an 81–60 decision to the Bears of Washington University. The loss put the Tartans at 0–5 in league play while the Bears moved to 4–1. The Tartans only took the lead once during the game and shot 30.8 percent from the field. Duhring once again led the Tartans with 17 points, followed by Pettit, who finished with 13.

After a week of practice, the Tartans traveled to New York and Boston for another UAA weekend. On Friday the Tartans lost a close game to New York University, falling 59–57.

The loss was a back-and-forth game with four lead changes in the second half alone, but the Violets were able to hold off the Tartans for the last 1:24 to come away with the victory.

On Sunday, the Tartans lost their seventh straight UAA game, falling to Brandeis University 72–59. Senior Jack Anderson led the Tartans with 15 points, followed by Pettit, who cashed in for 14.

The Tartans are now 4–14 overall and 0–7 in league play.

The team will be back in action next weekend as the Tartans take on New York University and Brandeis in Skibo Gymnasium.