The Tartans struggle with UAA opponents

Senior Matthew Pettit (#33) goes up to the hoop. (credit: Jessica Sochol/Photo Staff) Senior Matthew Pettit (#33) goes up to the hoop. (credit: Jessica Sochol/Photo Staff)

The Carnegie Mellon men’s basketball team played two games last week.

The first was against the New York University Violets in New York on Sunday, Feb. 13.

The Tartans were hot at tipoff, hitting eight of 11 early in the game to take a lead on the Violets. Senior Shane Rife was key in the run, hitting back-to-back threes and adding six points to the Tartans’ score.

After an 8–1 run by the Violets to tie the game, the two teams flip-flopped back and forth, trading the lead. New York led the Tartans 34–33 going into the half on a foul shot by Derek Becker.

The Violets came out of the gates after the break with purpose. An 8–2 run turned into a 21–7 run, and New York was up 55–39. The Tartans fought back, pulling within 10 at 57–47 with just under eight minutes in the game, but they got no closer. The Violets won 68–52.

The Tartans were held to 39 percent shooting from the field; the Violets shot 53 percent. Junior John Duhring had a near double-double, scoring 18 points and pulling down eight boards. An impressive performance from first-year Rashaun Riley added eight points for Carnegie Mellon.

On Friday, Feb. 18, the Tartans played the University of Rochester Yellowjackets, who are ranked 22nd in the nation. In a previous matchup between these two teams, the Yellowjackets bested the Tartans, 77–60.

Friday’s game was a battle out of the gates, as the Tartans and Yellowjackets traded the lead five times early on. Rife hit a three-point shot early, giving the Tartans the 7–5 lead. Rochester sophomore John DiBartolmeo countered Rife’s three with a three of his own for the Yellowjackets. This initiated an 8–2 run for the visiting team, claiming a four-point lead with 13 minutes in the half.

With 4:40 left in the first half, the Tartans started a 10–4 run that would end the half. They pulled within two, 29–27, on a three by Riley with 19 seconds left in the half.
Carnegie Mellon regained the lead in the second half on a three by Rife, bringing the score to 34–33 at the 15-minute mark. Ten unanswered points by the Yellowjackets turned into a 19–4 run, and Rochester was up, 52–38, with just five minutes left in the game.

The Tartans made some runs but didn’t get closer than eight, and Carnegie Mellon fell to Rochester, 63–50. Rochester ousted Carnegie Mellon from the field, shooting 44 percent to the Tartans’ 36.5 percent. Rife, senior Matthew Pettit, and Duhring all had 12 points for Carnegie Mellon, and first-year Sean Brophy pulled in a career-high eight rebounds in the losing effort.

The Tartans played their last home game yesterday, against the Emory University Eagles at noon in Skibo Gym.