(ROCHESTER, N.Y.) - The Carnegie Mellon University men's basketball team suffered its first University Athletic Association (UAA) loss of the season when the University of Rochester held on to win 78-70 Friday evening after a back-and-forth game. The Tartans are now 8-7 overall and 3-1 in the UAA while the 22nd-ranked Yellowjackets move to 12-3 overall and 2-2 in the league.
Junior Zach Howarth (Freehold, N.J. / St. John Vianney) led the Tartans with 16 points while senior Seth Henry (Fulton, Md. / Reservoir) and junior Colin McNeil (Ringoes, N.J. / Hunterdon Central Regional) each scored 11 points. McNeil led the Tartans with four assists while Henry was perfect from the field but sidelined with foul trouble throughout the game.
After the first five minutes and 35 seconds, the Tartans led 16-15 after converting 6-of-7 from the floor. Despite the hot shooting by the Tartans, the lead was so slim thanks to a 7-of-7 showing by the Yellowjackets during the same span.
The Yellowjackets used a 7-0 run to lead 24-19 before the Tartans answered and took a 26-24 lead on a three-pointer by Howarth with 5:52 to go in the first half. Following a stretch where Carnegie Mellon turned the ball over four times, the Yellowjackets went up by nine and held a 40-32 halftime advantage.
Carnegie Mellon slowly chipped away at the deficit until sophomore Ethan Miller (King of Prussia, Pa. / Upper Merion) drained a triple to give the Cardinal and Gray back the lead, 50-49, with 10:39 remaining in the game. The lead would stretch to 54-50 and then 56-53 before Rochester scored on back-to-back possessions to go up 58-56. After Howarth knotted the score at 58 with a jumper, a 10-3 run by the Yellowjackets, fueled by eight points by Ryan Clamage, was all the home squad needed to create a gap with more than four minutes to play.
The Tartans did pull to within three points, 71-68, with 1:15 to go but Rochester was able to convert enough free throws while the Tartans missed opportunities at the other end to hold on for the win.
Clamage led all scorers with 41 points (16-of-25). Jacob Wittig had 10 points and six assists in the win for Rochester.
Carnegie Mellon will next play at Emory University (11-4, 2-2) on Sunday, January 20 at 12:00 p.m.