CMU basketball teams split

The Carnegie Mellon men’s and women’s basketball teams took a road trip to Rochester on Friday to continue University Athletic Association (UAA) conference play in a double header against University of Rochester.

The women kicked off the evening trying to shake off their back-to-back home losses last weekend and took the quick lead with an opening layup by sophomore center Lisa Murphy. Unfortunately, that 2–0 led was the only advantage the Tartans were going to get in the opening half. They quickly fell in a hole as the team was cold on the offensive end. The only saving grace was Rochester’s similar shooting woes, exacerbated by the Tartans’ defense, which caused the deficit to never climb to more than 7 and let Tartans go on a run to end the half, culminating in junior forward Liza Otto’s game tying jump shot with 11 seconds left in the half to send the teams into the locker room knotted up at 23–23.
In the second half, the teams played to a draw through the first 14 minutes of the period with the score tied at 44 apiece going into the home stretch. The Tartans took the lead for good with first-year guard Njaire Mckoy’s jump shot with just under six minutes to go, but didn’t start creating separation from the Yellowjackets until Murphy rattled off 6 straight free throws and senior guard Chandler Caufield hit a three-pointer and two more free throws to push the lead to double digits. Junior guard Lindsay Poss, freshman forward Zoe Zawisa and Murphy made their free throws as the clock wound down to seal the victory at 68–57. Murphy finished the game with a double–double (29 points and 16 rebounds) to go along with a perfect 13–13 from the free throw line.

While the win is certainly a happy one for the Tartans as it pushes them to 2–2 in UAA play and 10–4 on the season, there was cause for concern with Carnegie Mellon continuing the shooting issues that have plagued them throughout conference play, having shot under 40% from the field in all four games.

The men’s team also came out with something to prove after losing their last game against New York University on a missed game tying three-pointer as the clock ran down. Coming with a vengeance, the Tartans scored the first three baskets to jump to an early 6–0 lead.

Unfortunately, Rochester quickly recovered to turn the game into a dog fight throughout the half with neither team able to gain more than three points of breathing room on the scoreboard until a layup by sophomore center Chris Shkil made the Tartan lead 4 and the Tartans pushed it all the way to five on a three-pointer by senior guard Jasen Blakeny, before two Rochester free throws cut the Tartans’ lead to 33–30 going into half time.

Coming out of half, it was more of the same for the first five minutes until a series of Tartan turnovers and missed shots let the Yellowjackets go on a 14–0 run that Carnegie Mellon could just barely recover from. The Tartans fought back and managed to cut the deficit to three on three-pointer by junior guard Jason Sebak but a layup and successful free throw on the and one attempt pushed the lead to 6 and sealed the game with Carnegie Mellon losing 65–60.

The loss drops the Tartans to 1–3 in UAA play and 10–5 on the season. Sophomore forward Jack Serbin led the losing effort as the top scorer and rebounder with 11 points and 12 rebounds for another double double.

Both Carnegie Mellon teams played Sunday in Atlanta against Emory and will continue their conference road play next weekend when they travel to Washington University of St. Louis and the University of Chicago.