CMU Basketball vs UChicago

Zach Howarth (right) scored a game-leading 20 points as Carnegie Mellon University men’s basketball team beat the University of Chicago at home. (credit: Photo courtesy of Carnegie Mellon Athletics) Zach Howarth (right) scored a game-leading 20 points as Carnegie Mellon University men’s basketball team beat the University of Chicago at home. (credit: Photo courtesy of Carnegie Mellon Athletics)

The Carnegie Mellon University men’s basketball team played against the University of Chicago last Friday in a close match that ultimately gave the Tartans their 10th win of the season.

The Tartans started out quite strong in the first half, with two layups from senior Trent Suddeth and junior Ethan Miller, both assisted by senior Colin McNeil, putting Carnegie Mellon University a solid four points in front of their opponents. Although the Maroons sought to bring the scoreline closer with a successful three-point jump shot, the Tartans continued to maintain their lead.

A well-aimed three-point jump shot by junior Daniel Weiss extended the Tartans’ lead to 13 – 7 with just under 14-and-a-half minutes left on the clock. Though both teams made efforts to improve their position, the score stayed locked for nearly two minutes. A free throw made by the Maroons was soon matched by a layup by Carnegie Mellon University junior Zach Watson, making the score 15 – 8.

Watson then made both free throws awarded to him off of a University of Chicago foul, and though a layup seemed to turn the game back towards the Maroons, a three-point jump shot by first-year Nick Nakasian quickly dispelled these apparitions by increasing the Tartans’ lead to a formidable 20 – 10.

Jump shots made from behind the three-point line by junior Joey Krempa, along with another one by Miller, then brought the scoreline to 26 – 10, with just under 10 minutes left to play in the first half. With three-point jump shots made by seniors Zach Howarth and Cooper Williams, the Tartans gave themselves an 18-point lead, the score reading 38 – 20 with just under 5 minutes left in the first half.

Although points were traded among both teams, Carnegie Mellon University managed to hold onto their lead, for the most part, ending the first half 44 – 29.

The University of Chicago attempted to begin their second half aggressively, but efforts from Howarth, Miller, and McNeil maintained the margin, with it reading 52 – 33 in the Tartans’ favor, where it stayed for a minute and a half.

Despite further efforts by the Maroons, Carnegie Mellon University continued to lead with a sizeable 57 – 41 with a quarter of the time in the second half gone, forcing University of Chicago to call their first 30-second timeout.

This seemed to temporarily stop the Tartans’ momentum, but the Maroons failed to capitalize on it, with the score essentially remaining the same for the next minute and a half, except for a single free throw scored by Suddeth.

Both teams proceeded to trade off scoring, and with 10 minutes left on the clock, University of Chicago had managed to close the gap to 12 points, the scores reading 62 – 50 in favor of the Tartans. However, this momentum by the Maroons necessitated a full timeout called by Carnegie Mellon University.

The timeout seemed to have little effect on their opponents, however, and University of Chicago lessened the margin to 10 points. The score now reading 64 – 54, the Maroons kept the Tartans from scoring while racking up a few more points of their own to make the scoreline 64 – 59 with just eight minutes left on the clock.

Both teams then scored layups, but a three-point jump shot by University of Chicago reduced the Tartans’ lead to just four points. At 66 – 62 in favor of Carnegie Mellon University, the Maroons called a full timeout to prepare for the last seven and a half minutes of gameplay.

The Tartans seemed to come back from the break reinvigorated, however, and two free throws scored by McNeil, along with a jump shot and a free throw by Howarth extended Carnegie Mellon University’s lead to 71 – 62.

Although both teams continued to score points, neither team seemed to be able to get any significant gain on the other, and the game headed into the final five minutes of action with the score reading 74 – 66, prompting the Tartans to call a 30-second timeout.

This had no significant effect on the flow of the game, however, and the teams continued to trade off scoring, with the Tartans maintaining their slight margin. Two free throws by Howarth made the score 82 – 73, and with just 46 seconds left on the clock, Carnegie Mellon University called their second full timeout.

This time, the timeout seemed to momentarily hinder the Maroons, and the last 46 seconds saw little change to the score aside from two successful free throws from Watson. The game ended 84 – 73.

This win meant that the Carnegie Mellon University men’s basketball team swept the season series. Having scored 20 points during the game, Howarth moved into 10th place in terms of Carnegie Mellon University’s all-time scoring list. With 18 points and 14 rebounds, Suddeth recorded a University Athletic Association-leading 10th double-double. With six assists, McNeil continued to extend his school assist record.

The Tartans now look forward to facing Emory College on Friday, Feb. 21.