Men’s basketball defeats Wash. U. Bears

The Carnegie Mellon men’s basketball team had three games this past week, each against University Athletic Association (UAA) rivals.

The first of the three games was on Sunday, Jan. 30 at the University of Chicago. The Tartans got off to a hot start, taking an early 26–12 lead. Senior Shane Rife hit two three-pointers during a 19–2 Tartan run, and first-year Asad Meghani added a three of his own. Junior Joe Kromka capped off the run with a dunk in transition.

The Maroons slowly chipped away at the lead behind Matt Johnson’s 10 points on four straight possessions.

The Tartans went into halftime with only a one-point lead at the break, as a driving bank shot by junior John Duhring put Carnegie Mellon up 39–38.

Chicago caught fire after the break, draining three of four baskets out of the gates to take a 47–41 lead.

The Tartans pulled within six, but clutch free throw shooting and tough defense by the Maroons stifled the Tartans, handing them their 12th loss of the season, 86–76.

The Maroons’ hot three-point shooting won the game for Chicago, as they converted a season-high 13 from that distance. The Tartans only hit seven, along with shooting a low 40.9 percent from the field.

Rife led the Tartans with 20 points, and senior Matthew Pettit added 17 with seven boards.

Carnegie Mellon’s second game of the week was at home against the Washington University in St. Louis Bears on Friday.

The Tartans started off the month of February on a high note, riding Rife’s career-high 26 points to a much-needed 78–65 win.

Rife started the game by scoring the Tartans’ first 15 points, including three straight three-pointers, opening up a 15–12 lead. However, the Bears also got hot shortly thereafter, opening up a 29–23 lead on the Tartans behind Dylan Richter’s back-to-back threes.

Carnegie Mellon went into the break on a 15–6 run, including seven more points from Rife, to hit halftime with a 38–35 lead. Both the Bears’ Richter and the Tartans’ Rife had 22 points at the break.

Midway through the second half, the Tartans found themselves down 56–51. First-year Rashaun Riley led a ferocious 10–0 Carnegie Mellon run, scoring half of those points himself, allowing the Tartans to take back a lead that they didn’t relinquish for the rest of the game. Overall, Riley had a career-high 13 points in the bout.

Career nights for Rife and Riley shot this team to victory. Pettit and first-year Christian Manoli added 10 points each, and the two had 10 and eight rebounds, respectively.

It was a meaningful win for the struggling Tartans, who ended a four-game losing streak. The victory came on a night when the school was honoring the former conference champion teams from 1977 and 2006.

The Tartans hosted Chicago on Super Bowl Sunday at noon.