Tartans Win Home DoubleTree Invitational with 68-62 Victory Over #8 Hampden-Sydney

Tartans Win Home DoubleTree Invitational with 68-62 Victory Over #8 Hampden-Sydney

(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) - The Carnegie Mellon University men's basketball team competed in the championship game of the Carnegie Mellon / DoubleTree Invitational on Sunday, December 1 against 8th-ranked Hampden-Sydney College and upset the Tigers 68-62.  The win marks the first for the Tartans over a ranked opponent since February 2012 and the first over a top 10 team since 2008 when they defeated then ranked #1 Washington University in St. Louis.  With the victory on Sunday afternoon, Carnegie Mellon improves to 4-0 while Hampden-Sydney is now 4-2.

Carnegie Mellon jumped out to a 16-11 lead with nine minutes to play in the first half on senior Christian Manoli's (San Rafael, Calif./Terra Linda) layup.  The lead matched the largest for the Tartans in the first frame.

Over the next 4:33 Hampden-Sydney scored seven straight points and took their first lead (18-16) of the contest when senior Khobi Williamson's jumper went through the net with 4:24 to play in the half. Carnegie Mellon regained the lead at the 2:10 mark on a three-pointer by junior Seth Cordts (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan), but the visitors closed the half on a 7-1 run to take a 27-22 lead into the break.

Williamson's traditional three-point play at the 10:34 mark of the second half gave the Tigers their biggest lead of the contest at 44-36 and a long ball by sophomore Mitch Owen two minutes later put Hampden-Sydney ahead 47-40 with 8:31 to play.  

On the ensuing possession, Manoli sparked a 12-0 run for the Tartans on a trey of his own followed by five straight points by senior Asad Meghani (Dallas, Texas/The Greenhill School), a jumper by Cordts and a fast break layup by junior Kevin Stursberg (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla./Jacksonville Episcopal).  

Carnegie Mellon pushed its lead to 56-49 with 3:46 to play and never trailed the rest of the game.  Hampden-Sydney pulled within five at 58-53 with 2:31 to play on a pair of made fouls shots by sophomore Mike Murray.  That was as close as the Tigers came, as Meghani's third triple of the game with a minute to play gave the Tartans its largest lead at 64-55 and secured the victory.

For the third time this season, Carnegie Mellon shot over 50% from the floor.  The Tartans shot 53.3% to the Tigers 32.8% and shot 35.0% (7-20) from behind the arc to Hampden-Sydney's 13.6% (3-22).  

It marked the 35th straight contest dating back to his sophomore season that Meghani made a three-pointer, as the senior finished the game with 11 points and a season-best four assists.

Manoli, the most valuable player of the invitational, finished with 14 points, six rebounds and four assists.  Senior Rashaun Riley (Houston, Texas/Cypress Creek) was named to the all-tournament team after scoring nine points, grabbing four rebounds and dishing out three assists in the championship game.

Cordts and senior Rob Mohen (Stamford, Conn./Regis (NY)) both turned in double-digit scoring performances in the win. Cordts knocked in a career-best 15 points while Mohen had 12.  

Williamson and Owens both were named to the all-tournament team for Hampden-Sydney.  Williamson scored a game-high 16 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.  Owens finished the game with 10 points and seven rebounds.  Murray was the third Tiger to score in double figures with 15 points.

The Tartans head to Huntingdon, Pa., to play Juniata College on Tuesday, December 3.  Tip against the Eagles is set for 7:00 p.m.