Men's basketball duplicates twin wins against UAA foes

Senior center Chris Shkil shoots the ball through a defender on his way to scoring 21 points against Brandeis. (credit: CMU Athletics) Senior center Chris Shkil shoots the ball through a defender on his way to scoring 21 points against Brandeis. (credit: CMU Athletics)

On Friday, the Carnegie Mellon men’s basketball team battled the Brandeis University Judges in a University Athletic Association (UAA) rivalry game, coming away with the victory.

The game began with the Judges making two three-pointers and building a fast lead. Both teams established the quick pace of the game with powerful defensive play. At 15:29, a dunk by senior center Chris Shkil on a fast break opened the game up the Tartans, who soon scored several consecutive baskets to take the lead early in the first half. Though the Tartans missed several second chance shots after offensive rebounds, they continued to play aggressively on both sides of the ball. With precise passing in the paint and by taking advantage of chances at the free throw line, the Tartans maintained a small lead. Three quarters of the way through the half, the quick scoring slowed down, and the defense took over the game. The Judges evened the score twice, but the Tartans found a way to take the lead both times. Sophomore forward and guard Seth Henry scored a three-pointer at the end of the half, just beating the buzzer. Carnegie Mellon led 37–29.

Carnegie Mellon scored the first points of the second half, amassing a 17-point lead early, with the Tartans’ offense taking control of the game as it had in the first half. Though the Tartans sustained a double-digit advantage over Brandeis for much of the half, the Judges inched their way back, scoring 10 points to 1, and by the midpoint, had closed in on the Tartan’s lead. At 10:36, a technical foul by the Carnegie Mellon coach allowed the Judges to cut the deficit to 9 points. The Tartans refused to let the Judges take over the game, surging to score 13 unanswered points and building a 22-point lead with 6:39 left to play. The Tartans had as much as a 24-point lead as the game came to a close. They held on to win 78–64.

Senior forward Jack Serbin and Shkil both recorded double-doubles. After being named the UAA Athlete of the Week on Tuesday, Serbin scored 16 points with 16 rebounds. Shkil led the team with 21 points and added 12 rebounds. As a team, Carnegie Mellon had a better night statistically than Brandeis, with a 45 percent field goal rate compared to the Judges’ 36.5 percent. The Tartans also had more rebounds, 42 to 31, assists, 16 to 12, second chance points, 10 to 2, and points in the paint, 26 to 12. The Judges’ field goal percentage in three-pointers was 42.3 percent, much higher than the Tartans’ 27.3 percent, and they took more three-point shots overall. However, the Tartans committed fewer turnovers and scored more points off of turnovers than Brandeis did. Leading for most of the game, the Carnegie Mellon men’s basketball team had a dominant performance over the Brandeis Judges.

On Sunday, the Tartans took on New York University. The Tartans came away with a 94–58 victory, bringing their record to 13–9 overall and 7–4 in the UAA.

After a missed three-pointer by NYU to start the game, Shkil made a layup off a Serbin assist, and the Tartans never looked back. After NYU’s first points answered the Tartans’ ten, senior forward Joseph Cossins’ first long ball on the ensuing possession put the Tartans ahead 13–3 and never saw the lead dip below double digits the rest of the day. Carnegie Mellon’s largest lead of the first half came in the closing second of play when junior guard Ryan Maha scored on a layup, as the teams went into the locker room with the score 47–22. Carnegie Mellon started the second half making eight of its first 10 shots and led 67–33 with 13:28 to play. With 4:46 to play, a fast break layup by Shkil gave the Tartans their largest lead of the game at 88–46. Carnegie Mellon shot a season-best 57.6 percent from the floor while holding the Violets to 31.3 percent from the floor.

Serbin grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds to record his third straight double-double and UAA leading 14th. Shkil chipped in with 16 points, had eight rebounds, and recorded four blocks in the win.

The team continues the season against the University of Rochester at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17.