Men's Basketball falls to Emory, recovers for Rochester

The Carnegie Mellon men’s basketball team took the court on Friday to host Emory University in University Athletic Association (UAA) play. The Tartans played a scrappy game, but the Eagles ultimately took the victory 83–68. This loss puts the Tartans at 9–14 overall, and 2–10 in UAA competition.

The game opened with Emory taking a swift six-point lead over the Tartans, demonstrating some impressive ball movement around the Tartan defense, and using their size advantage to make plays around the net. But Carnegie Mellon did not stay down for long. A jumper from sophomore Ryan Maha gave the Tartans some breathing room and decreased Emory’s lead, pulling the score to 20–16 at the 12-minute mark of the first half. The Eagles were having none of that, however. Over the next six minutes, the Eagles put together a 16–4 scoring run to take a 36–20 lead, increasing their lead to 28 at one point, and eventually ending the half leading 53–27.

The game began to look grim for the Tartans as the first half slowed to an end. Emory managed to convert 11 first-half turnovers by the Tartans into 23 points, while the Tartans could only force one single mishap from Emory. After the first 20 minutes of play, the Eagles had converted 11 out of 17 three-point shots, and shot 50 percent from the floor. The Tartans shot a respectable 43.5 percent from the floor, but it was not enough to slow down the train that Emory brought to Skibo Gym.

Despite the abysmal first half, the Tartans did not give up or throw in the towel. As the second half went underway, it appeared as if the Tartans were genuinely going to make a comeback. Carnegie Mellon opened the second half with an entirely unexpected 24–3 scoring run. Carnegie Mellon kept Emory without a score from the field for the first 10 minutes of the second half. The Eagles missed their first 16 shots in the second half of the game, but despite this dry spell, they maintained a lead that came to five points at its lowest. Once Emory broke out of the spell, they scored the next seven points and pushed the score to 63–51. The Tartans would remain trailing by double digits for the rest of the night.

Though Emory was a good team and Carnegie Mellon was expecting a challenge, this loss hurts for the Tartan squad. Losing is never a fun experience, but the feeling becomes even stronger when you know your team didn’t play well. Of course, this was not the Tartan’s best game. Though Carnegie Mellon did have a higher shooting percentage than Emory from the field, the real difference came in turnovers. Emory doubled the amount of turnovers that Carnegie Mellon created, a whopping 18 turnovers to Carnegie Mellon’s nine. This is the most crucial statistic in determining the Tartan’s mistakes. The points that Emory scored from those turnovers totaled to 35, whereas Carnegie Mellon only managed 12 points off turnovers. The points scored from turnovers total to a 23-point lead by themselves, and any team would have a hard time winning if they give up possession that many times.

Junior Jack Serbin did manage to get his 14th double-double for the Tartans, scoring a team-high 15 points with 14 rebounds. Maha was the only other player to score in double digits with 11 points. If the Tartans want to win games, they’re going to have to stop giving the ball up and be much more aggressive in pressing their advantages.

On Sunday, the Tartan men’s basketball team faced off against the University of Rochester in what turned out to be the highest scoring game of the season, and emerged victorious to a score of 102–97 in a double-overtime heater. The win moves the Tartans’ record to 10–14, 3–10 in UAA play. This win also means that the Tartans are now 21–1 when scoring 100 points or more in a single game since the 1947–48 season.

Carnegie Mellon fell behind at first, trailing 18–6 within the first six minutes of the game. The Tartans then went on a 10–3 scoring run to come within one point at 21–20. With less than three minutes left in the half, senior Blake Chasen gave the Tartans their first lead of the game thanks to a foul shot. At the halftime break, the Tartans held a one-point advantage at 33–32 and were prepared to keep fighting.

Both teams came into the second half with a hot scoring hand. Rochester scored on its first five shots, while Carnegie Mellon converted its first seven. The Tartans continued to edge ahead thanks to the scoring efforts of sophomore Ryan Maha. The game stayed close, and neither team led by more than five points at any point in the rest of the half. Rochester held a five-point advantage with just over a minute left to play in the second half, but a layup from junior Chris Shkil followed by a three-pointer from junior Jack Serbin tied the game and sent it into overtime.

Carnegie Mellon opened overtime with quick scores, draining multiple three-pointers to gain its largest lead of the game. Rochester scored the next five points, and the Tartans were ahead 88–86 with nine seconds to play. However, the visiting team got the last shot and made it count, tying the game and sending it into yet another overtime period.

Maha was the hero of the second overtime period, scoring nine of his career-best 25 points in double overtime alone. With five seconds left, a pair of foul shots from Serbin sealed the victory for the Tartans.

Maha led the Tartans in scoring with his career-best 25 points, as well as four assists. Serbin also made his mark on the game with 19 points and 17 rebounds to record his fifteenth double-double. Shkil also grabbed 12 points and 12 rebounds to record his fourth double-double.

The Tartans will finish the season with a home contest at home against UAA rival Case Western Reserve University on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 5 p.m.