Tartans Drop 74-66 Decision at La Roche

(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) – The Carnegie Mellon University men's basketball team played its last game of 2011 on Wednesday, December 21 and dropped a 74-66 decision to La Roche College on the road.  The loss puts the Tartans record at 4-6 while La Roche is now 9-2.

The Tartans jumped out to an early 5-0 lead over the first three minutes of play, as sophomore Asad Meghani (Dallas, Texas/The Greenhill School) opened the game with a trey and senior Joe Kromka (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway) scored on a layup.  Over the next three minutes, the Redhawks scored eight straight points claiming an 8-5 lead, one they held the rest of the half.

Freshman Matt Loebbaka (Mt. Prospect, Ill./Prospect) pulled the Tartans to within a point at 17-16 with 8:39 to play in the half on a put back jumper. The home team answered with seven unanswered pushing its lead to 24-16 and continued to hold it, taking a 32-26 advantage into the locker room.

La Roche started the second half on a 19-5 run over the first ten minutes to take a 51-31 lead and never looked back. Sophomore Christian Manoli (San Rafael, Calif./Terra Linda) connected on three treys in the closing minute to cut the Redhawks lead down, but La Roche was able to hold on for the 74-66 victory.

Carnegie Mellon shot 40.4% from the floor to the Redhawks 42.6%.  Each team committed 14 turnovers with the Tartans scoring 15 points and La Roche 13 of them. The home team dominated the inside games as they scored 48 points in the paint to the Tartans 24.

The Tartans were led by Manoli's 17 points while Kromka added 10 in the setback.  Sophomore Rashaun Riley (Houston, Texas/Cypress Creek) chipped in with nine points and dished out a game-high five assists.

Carnegie Mellon returns to action on January 3 when they host Dickinson College on the hardwood of Skibo Gymnasium.  Tip is set for 7:00 p.m.