(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) – The Carnegie Mellon University men's basketball team gave 18th-ranked Emory University all it could handle in its last home University Athletic Association (UAA) contest for the season, Sunday, February 22. The Eagles (19-5, 9-4) prevailed 75-63 but not before the Tartans (13-11, 4-9) pushed them to the edge.
The Tartans trailed the Eagles by one at halftime, 30-29, after a first half full of runs by each team. Sophomore Chris Shkil (Mentor, Ohio/Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin) sparked an 8-0 run for the Tartans, scoring the first and last basket, tying the game at 14-14. During the run, senior Seth Cordts (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan) converted a dunk following a steal.
Emory answered with eight straight to go ahead 22-14 before Shkil stopped the run with a jump shot off an assist from sophomore Matt Hillman (Gaithersburg, Md./Sidwell Friends) with half the period to play.
Senior Jasen Blakney (Raleigh, N.C./Enloe) later hit a layup to make it 24-20 in favor of the Eagles before two straight long distance shots put the visitors up by 10, 30-20.
The Tartans responded with a 9-0 run to close the half as Cordts scored five points on a three-point play and two free throws following an offensive rebound.
Sophomore Jack Serbin (New Albany, Ohio/New Albany) continued the Tartans run at the start of the second half and gave the home squad its first lead of the game, 31-30, with the first shot of the period.
The teams traded baskets for the next four minutes and with Emory holding a 40-37 lead, the Tartans stormed forward with seven straight to take their largest lead of the game at 44-40 with 13:43 to play.
With Emory leading 51-50, junior Jason Sebak (New Kensington, Pa./Kiski Prep) hit a jumper in the lane to take back the lead for the Tartans. On the next possession, a three-point play by Michael Florin of the Eagles sparked a run of baskets for the visitors who hit four straight from behind the arc to take a 66-56 lead with 5:23 to play.
That flurry was all the Eagles, who scored their final nine points from the free throw line, needed to hold on to the lead and win for the ninth time in conference play, securing at least a share of the UAA title.
Cordts finished with a game-high 26 points, making 9-of-9 from the free throw line and hitting the only three-pointer of the game for the Tartans. His trey with 1:51 remaining extended the Tartans' game with at least one three-pointer made streak to 362 games. Conversely, the Eagles made 10 from behind the arc.
Serbin tallied his 13th double-double for the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds and broke the school record for blocks in a season, picking up three for the game, to total 70 for the year. Shkil tied his season and career-high with 17 points off the bench for the Tartans and picked up eight boards.
The Tartans close out the regular season on the road at Case Western Reserve University on Saturday, February 28 at 5:00 p.m.