CMU basketball splits final home games of the season

Senior guard Jasen Blakney calls out a play as he takes the ball up the court. (credit: Junior Photographer) Senior guard Jasen Blakney calls out a play as he takes the ball up the court. (credit: Junior Photographer)

On Sunday, Carnegie Mellon finished its home basketball season as both the men’s and women’s teams faced off against Emory University during their senior games. While the squads split the midday double header, both teams saw their single season blocks records fall as they closed out their home schedules in front of the Carnegie Mellon faithful.

The men started off the double header, and had an honorary starting lineup with all four seniors — guard Jasen Blakney, forwards Matt Loebbaka and Kevin Stursberg, and captain and guard Seth Cordts — and played meaningful minutes throughout the game to celebrate the years each gave the program.

With sophomore forward Jack Serbin rounding out the starting line up, the Tartans played the Eagles close, with Cordts, Serbin, and sophomore center Chris Shkil getting all but four of the Tartans’ 29 points in the first half as a pair of Cordts free throws combined to put the Tartans down only 1 going in to half.

A Serbin jump shot, only 11 seconds out of half, gave Carnegie Mellon their first lead while the combo of Serbin, Shkil and Cordts continued their domination, scoring another 21 points for the Tartans before the halfway mark in the second half, and scoring all but 2 points in the second half. Unfortunately, relying on just three players for the hefty majority of the scoring left the Tartans vulnerable to a cold streak by their offensive weapons and with 10 minutes to go in the half, all three went cold leading to deep freeze by the Tartans offense and a 15–4 run by the Eagles to put the game away down the stretch. Although the final tally of 75–63 Emory may demoralizing for the Tartans, the guarantee of a winning record for the first time in the tenures of any of the players plus the new single season block record by Serbin with 70 and a chance to increase his record with a game remaining, will act as a spring board toward next years’ success.

The loss drops the men to 13–11 on the season and 4–9 in conference play.

In the second game of the double header, the women tried to honor their seniors, guards MacKenzie Boyd and Chandler Caufield, with their first University Athletic Association (UAA) victory in over a month in a half.

Starting with a three pointer by first-year Anna Novak to take an early 3–0 lead, the Tartans made their objectives known and only trailed once the entire game, which was quickly rectified by a Boyd three pointer. For the game Carnegie Mellon lived off of the three, which rewarded their trust by allowing a 66.7 shooting percentage for the game, driving the Tartan offense to an easy victory, 84–74.
Playing another small bench lineup where each starter played over 30 minutes, each starter was rewarded for her commitment by shooting at least 50 percent from both the field and behind the arc, with both junior forward Liza Otto and sophomore center Lisa Murphy recording double-doubles with 10 rebounds and 17 points for Otto and a game high 29 points and 11 rebounds for Murphy.
Murphy also set the single season blocks record for the women’s team with 66 on the season before her final game of the season on the road.

With the win, the women push to 12–12 on the season and 3–10 in UAA play with a chance to improve both records when both Carnegie Mellon squads travel to Case Western Reserve University on Saturday to finish out their seasons.