The ups and downs of Tartan basketball

Sophomore Christian Manoli posts a 9.7 points per game mark this year. (credit: Thomas Hofman/Photo Editor) Sophomore Christian Manoli posts a 9.7 points per game mark this year. (credit: Thomas Hofman/Photo Editor)

After a three-game win streak, the Carnegie Mellon men’s basketball team has lost two straight. In the last four, the men have gone 2–2, playing two very contrasting modes of basketball.

In the two victories, senior John Duhring led the offense to at least 40 percent shooting from the field. The two losses saw the Tartans shoot sub-40 percent and Duhring average three points.

When Duhring was hot, his teammates also shot well. In the first of these four games, the Tartans picked up their success from the previous game against Penn State Behrend to win their second straight game at the expense of the Allegheny College Gators.

Duhring poured in 19 points, followed by sophomore Rashaun Riley’s 16 points, converting on a sizzling four of five attempts from three-point territory. Duhring hit two clutch free throws and dished out five assists as the orchestrator in this 67–64 victory.

On Saturday, Nov. 26, the Tartans hosted their annual DoubleTree Carnegie Mellon tournament. In the opening game against Otterbein University, the Tartans collectively put together their most impressive offensive performance of the season as all five starters scored in double figures. This led to a 77–70 victory.

Duhring led the squad with 14 points, sophomore Christian Manoli added 13, senior John Kromka had 12, sophomore Sean Brophy had 11, and Riley poured in 10 points. The squad shot 56 percent from the field.

In the championship of the DoubleTree tournament, the Lebanon Valley College Dutchmen blew out the Tartans, 78–58. Duhring struggled, scoring just four points. Kromka and Riley led the team in this bout with 18 and 15 points, respectively. But shooting just 38.5 percent from the field and allowing the Dutchmen to shoot 49.3 percent led to the Tartans’ undoing. Additionally, the Tartans were out-rebounded by 10, 48–38.

Wednesday, Nov. 30, was an even worse performance for the Tartans. Again, Duhring couldn’t find the hot hand he had in the games against Allegheny College and Otterbein University, and was only able to hit one field goal against Catholic University. Sophomore Asad Meghani had a good game off the bench with 11 points, and Manoli and Riley had 12 each. However, their 30.5 percent field goal percentage led to just 50 points on the night, and the Tartans lost by 12 to the Cardinals. The Tartans’ defense also gave up a minus 15-rebound differential and allowed the Cardinals to shoot 44 percent from the field.

On Tuesday, the Tartans will face the Bethany College Bison on the road. The Tartans did not play the Bison last season.