(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) – The Carnegie Mellon University men's basketball team hosted Juniata College on Monday, December 4 in non-conference action. The Eagles entered the contest undefeated and topped the Tartans, now 3-3, by an 84-63 score.
After the Tartans tied the game at 26-all with 4:31 to play in the first half, the Eagles ran off 18 unanswered points to take a 44-26 lead at the break. During the spurt by the Eagles, the Tartans missed three shots and turned the ball over three times.
The first 15 minutes and 29 seconds was a back-and-forth affair with nine lead changes and four ties. The largest lead during that time was four points by the Eagles, 26-22, but the Tartans answered with a second-chance layup by sophomore Colin McNeil (Ringoes, N.J. / Hunterdon Central Regional) and a layup by junior Patrick Ehland (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Mt. Lebanon) after a steal by junior Seth Henry (Fulton, Md. / Reservoir).
The Eagles shot 70.4% in the first half and made their final eight shots from the field.
That 18-point separation was all the Eagles would need as they held a double-digit lead the rest of the game.
The Tartans did pull to within 17, 60-43, with more than half the period to play on a 6-0 run with two layups by freshman Zach Watson (Dublin, Ohio / Jerome) and a layup by senior Ryan Maha (West Mifflin, Pa. / West Mifflin).
Carnegie Mellon finished shooting 43.1% from the field with Watson scoring a career-best 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting. McNeil also finished with 13 points while Ehland scored 11 and grabbed 10 boards.
Juniata's shooting touch cooled off in the second half, as the Eagles finished shooting 57.4% from the field. Four players reached double-digits in scoring with Marcus Lee and Seth Brewer each scoring 19 points. Damon Rickens and Brandon Martinazzi both scored 12 points.
The Tartans will return to the court on Wednesday when Penn State Behrend (5-1) visits Pittsburgh for a 7:30 p.m. tip.