Tartan basketball teams have a weekend of mixed results

Sophomore Liza Otto shoots as the NYU Violets play defense (credit: Jason  Chen/) Sophomore Liza Otto shoots as the NYU Violets play defense (credit: Jason Chen/) Senior Christian Manoli aggressively dribbles down the court. (credit: Jason  Chen/) Senior Christian Manoli aggressively dribbles down the court. (credit: Jason Chen/) Junior Seth Cordts assists first-year Jack Serbin for two points. (credit: Jason  Chen/) Junior Seth Cordts assists first-year Jack Serbin for two points. (credit: Jason Chen/)

It was an up-and-down weekend for Tartan basketball with both the men and women’s teams going 1–1 in University Athletic Association play against New York University and Brandeis University.

The Friday doubleheader started with the women taking on the Violets from NYU. It was a rough opening for the Tartans with several turnovers in the first few possessions. It took over three-and-a-half minutes for Carnegie Mellon to score their first points, and even that took two bad turnovers from the Violets.

Senior guard Jacquie Shaw scored four quick points around the seven-minute mark to bring the game to a more respectable 6–9, but quickly picked up her second foul and was forced to the bench. Junior guard Gabrielle West picked up some of the scoring slack with Shaw on the bench, eventually tying up the game at 12 points with eight minutes left in the half.
Shaw then took the lead for the Tartans with a driving layup followed quickly by a West jumper to extend the Carnegie Mellon lead. The teams traded baskets through the rest of the half, and the Violets were able to tie it up, but never had quite enough momentum to overtake the Tartans.

Coming out of halftime, NYU fired up, hitting seven of nine shots during a 20–2 run that looked to put the game out of reach.

The Tartans, however, were not to be denied and went on their own 15–0 run led by sophomore forward Liza Otto, finally taking back the lead with under six minutes to play on a jump shot by sophomore guard Lindsay Poss.

The two squads kept trading leads for the next few possessions before the Violets pushed the lead to six with just over two minutes left to play. The Tartans responded, and freshman center-forward Lisa Murphy, who was shut out in the first half, scored four quick points to bring the game back with under a minute to play.

The Tartans took the lead for good on a putback by Shaw with 25 seconds left. NYU had a chance to take back the lead but missed two free throws with 15 seconds left, all but ensuring a Tartan victory, 71–68.

After the game, Shaw said, “Our UAA season got off to a slow start, but we’re really happy about our win... and we know it’s an indication of how well we can play.”

After all the excitement of the women’s game, the men looked like they would deliver more of the same, with the game starting off even with the teams trading baskets and fouls. The game was tied at 15 midway through the first half before NYU pulled out to a double digit lead.

Coming out of half time, the Tartans kept attempting a comeback, but weren’t able to cut the lead back to single digits until there was only 1:29 remaining in the game, and by then it was too little too late with Carnegie Mellon falling, 79–65.

On Sunday, the men started off the doubleheader against Brandeis University.

Freshman forward Jack Serbin dominated the game from start to finish, scoring nine of the Tartans first 12 points as they jumped out to a quick 12–6 lead. The Judges battled back and took a small lead with just over 11 minutes left in the first half.

The teams were even down the stretch and tied at 41 at halftime, Serbin leading all scorers with 17 points.

Out of half, Brandeis took a slight lead before senior guard Asad Meghani scored seven unanswered points to put the Tartans back on top.

The Judges refused to go away and took the lead again with 8:36 remaining, only to have Serbin rattle off another three shots to given the Tartans a four point lead. The lead shrunk to one before senior forward Rob Mohen hit a free throw to push it to its final resting place at two.

Brandeis had a chance to tie it up, but Serbin flashed his defensive skill by blocking a shot with only two seconds left, helping to guarantee a Carnegie Mellon victory,

Similar to Friday game, the Tartan women played a game of runs exchanging a 10–1 run by Brandeis for a 9–0 run of their own to take the lead with under six minutes to go in the first half.
Shaw continued her scoring ways, at one point making eight straight points for the Tartans to help them take a 30–27 lead into half.

The Tartans’ eventual downfall came on the glass, with the Judges dominating the offensive boards, leading to 10 second-chance points for them in the second half alone.
Carnegie Mellon had a five-point lead late in the second half, but the Judges finally took the lead for good on a free throw with 3:23 left.

The women’s team moved to 11–7 on the year and 2–5 in UAA play, and the men improved to 10–8 overall and 3–4 in league play following this weekend’s games.