(CLEVELAND, Ohio) - The Carnegie Mellon University men's basketball team used stellar free throw shooting in the final minutes to defeat Case Western Reserve University 82-71 at Horsburgh Gymnasium in the final University Athletic Association (UAA) game of the season. The Tartans move to 14-11 and 5-9 while the Spartans fall to 15-10 and 6-8.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair but a pair of shots by sophomore Chris Shkil (Mentor, Ohio/Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin) gave the Tartans a 23-20 lead with 6:09 to play in the first half. That lead grew to seven for the Tartans by the break, as sophomore Jack Serbin (New Albany, Ohio/New Albany) scored on a put-back layup for the last basket of the half. The Tartans outscored the Spartans 12-8 over the final six minutes as the halftime score was 35-28.
Case Western opened the second period with six straight including a three-pointer and free throw by Dane McLoughlin on the first possession of the half.
Senior Seth Cordts (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan), who scored nine points in the first half, responded with a layup and a three-pointer to push the Tartans' lead back to six points, 40-34.
A 7-0 run by the Tartans, concluding with a dunk by Serbin off an assist by Cordts, put the Tartans ahead 47-38 with 13:46 to play.
Senior Jasen Blakney (Raleigh, N.C./Enloe) sandwiched three foul shots by McLoughlin with jump shots which kept the Tartans up by six points and Serbin drilled a trey after his own defensive rebound, giving the Tartans a 54-45 advantage.
The teams traded points over the next eight minutes and after a timeout by the Spartans, sophomore Matt Hillman (Gaithersburg, Md./Sidwell Friends) drained a three-pointer to maintain the nine-point lead for the Tartans with 3:19 to play.
The Tartans connected on all but two free throws in the second half, making 14-of-16 in the final 2:31 to preserve the victory. Cordts made six and finished 11-of-11 for the game, now making his last 23 attempts.
Cordts and Serbin led the Tartans with 22 points apiece while Serbin grabbed 16 boards for his 14th double-double of the season. Blakney and Shkil also finished in double figures with 11 points each.