Tartans split home games against Emory, Rochester

The Carnegie Mellon men’s basketball team welcomed two of their University Athletics Association (UAA) rivals, Emory University on Friday, Feb. 9, and the University of Rochester on Sunday, Feb. 11. The Tartans played two close games, dropping the first game to the Eagles 82–80, and defeating the Yellowjackets 70–68.

On Friday against the Emory Eagles, the game was decided in the final second. Trailing by seven points late in the second half, the Tartans attempted a comeback, falling just short.

Sophomore Zach Howarth led the Tartans in scoring with 25 points.Senior Ryan Maha and sophomore Colin McNeil both scored 14 points, and McNeil dished out a team-high six assists. Juniors Seth Henry and Patrick Ehland hauled in eight rebounds apiece on the night.

The Eagles opened the game hot, scoring eight straight points. Later in the half, a 17–6 run by the Eagles extended their lead to 16 points. The Tartans scored the final five points of the half, including a three-pointer by Maha, going into halftime trailing 37–29.

In the first two minutes of the second half, Howarth scored two consecutive three-pointers to pull the Tartans within five points off the lead, a taste of what was to come later in the half. Five minutes into the half, the Eagles’ lead was 12 points, but over the next four and a half minutes, the Tartans slowly made their way back into the game. A jumpshot by Howarth capped off a 13–5 run, making the score 60–56. The Eagles scored the next five points to get their comfortable lead back, but the Tartans pushed again, scoring the next eight points to bring the team within one point, 65–64 with 5:50 left to play.

With 1:39 left to play, the Eagles led by seven points, but the Tartans again rallied to score six straight points, a three-pointer by sophomore Coopers Williams bringing the score to 78–77 with 32 seconds left.

Two free throws gave the Eagles a three-point lead, but three made free throws by Maha tied the game at 80–80 with 13 seconds left in the game. A layup by the Eagles at 0.8 seconds lifted the visiting team to the win.

The Tartans improved in the second half from the first, shooting 59.4 percent from the field after shooting 33.3 percent in the first half. They ended with a 47.5 shooting percentage on the game, while Emory shot 44.6 percent. The Tartans were hurt by their turnovers, committing five more than Emory.

Against the University of Rochester Yellowjackets, the Tartans fought off a comeback by the visiting team to take the win. Though in this game the Tartans were on the defensive, it seemed like the game was going to end like it did against Emory, with a shot in the last second taking the victory from the Tartans. On Sunday, however, the review waived a shot taken after buzzer, and the Tartans held on to win.

Howarth led the team with 19 points, followed by McNeil with 13, Ehland with 11, and Maha with 10. McNeil recorded five assists, while Maha hauled in five steals. Henry led the team in rebounds, with nine.

The Tartans opened the first half with aggressive offense, scoring the first seven points of the game. The Yellowjackets closed the half with an 8–2 run and went into halftime with the score 36–32.

For most of the second half, the Tartans maintained their lead. The Yellowjackets regrouped to score 16 straight points, taking the lead 68–66. A McNeil layup with two minutes left ended the Yellowjackets’ run and tied the game. With 1:30 left, two free throws by Howarth gave the Tartans the lead, and they held on to win 70–68.

The Tartans’ 39.7 percent shooting was lower than the Yellowjackets’ 48.1 percent, but made up for it by taking 16 more shots.

After the two games, the Tartans move to 6–16 on the season and 2–9 in UAA play. They will next play the University of Chicago on Friday, Feb. 16.