Men’s basketball shakes uneven start on way to big win

On a blisteringly cold Tuesday night, the Carnegie Mellon men’s basketball team took on Geneva College’s Golden Tornadoes in a white-hot battle. Despite early misses and giveaways to Geneva, the Tartans slowly but surely built up their lead before taking off in the second half en route to a resounding 82–53 victory.

The first half of the game was hotly contested. Geneva scored first after a missed opportunity by the Tartans, but the offense quickly struck back, starting a virtual back-and-forth game that lasted until Carnegie Mellon was up 25–23.

“We got off to a slow start,” sophomore forward Jack Serbin said. The slow start was due in part to the offense attempting to overextend itself and taking unnecessary risks. Forcing plays led to turnovers that kept Geneva close during the first half.

In the second half, the Tartans fired on all cylinders, making shot after shot while managing for the most part to keep Geneva from scoring.

“We just ran the offense,” Serbin said. “Our coaches had a great gameplan,” he added, saying that halftime brought the offense back into focus and gave the players an opportunity to settle down. The contest was capped off by a resounding slam dunk toward the end of the game by first-year forward Tom Kromka.

Serbin led the team in points and rebounds, scoring 24 points and earning 11 rebounds against the Golden Tornadoes. Junior guard Jason Sebak was credited with four assists.

On defense, the Tartans dominated. Sophomore guard Matt Hillman was twice able to steal the ball from Geneva and score almost effortlessly. The team forced two turnovers more than the Golden Tornadoes, and took advantage of rebound opportunities, making 16 offensive rebounds and 31 defensive rebounds while keeping Geneva to two offensive rebounds and 19 defensive rebounds.

The win brought the Tartans to a promising 2–0 start. They kept the good feelings going, taking both rounds in the Geneva coaches vs. Cancer Tournament against Franciscan University on Friday and University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg on Saturday to move to 4–0 on the season. Serbin led the charge, putting up scores of 19 and 25.

The Tartans continue their season Tuesday at Allegheny College.