Meghani Pours in Career-High in Tartans Heartbreaking Setback at Juniata

Meghani Pours in Career-High in Tartans Heartbreaking Setback at Juniata

(HUNTINGDON, Pa.) - The Carnegie Mellon University men's basketball team traveled to Huntingdon, Pa. on Tuesday, December 3 to play its first road contest of the 2013-14 season and dropped 70-67 contest to Juniata College on a last second basket.  Senior Asad Meghani (Carrollton, Texas/Greenhill School) paced the Tartans with a career-high 24 points on 7-of-11 from behind the arc. The loss was the first of the season for the Tartans, as they are now 4-1 while the Eagles improve to 5-1.  

Carnegie Mellon grabbed an early 5-3 lead over the first 3:19 of play, but the Eagles rattled off seven straight points to claim a 10-5 advantage and extend the lead to 19-10 with 10:57 to play in the first half.  With the Tartans trailing 21-13 at the nine-minute mark of the frame, Meghani's second of five first-half treys sparked an 8-1 run over a two-minute stretch for the Tartans, as the Cardinal and Gray pulled within one at 22-21 with seven minutes to play in the half.

Juniata was fast to respond scoring five straight points, but two more Meghani treys sandwiched between a two-point bucket by the Eagles made the score 29-27 in favor of the home team at the 4:28 mark. Following the exchange of a pair of baskets by both teams, the Tartans closed the half on a 7-0 run and took a 36-33 advantage into the break.

Meghani led all scorers at the break with 15 points after connecting on 5-of-8 from long range.

Juniata used an 11-3 run that started four minutes into the second half to claim its largest lead of the game at 53-44 with 12:42 left in regulation.  Carnegie Mellon senior Christian Manoli (San Rafael, Calif./Terra Linda) drained a three-pointer that ignited a 9-0 run for the visitors to knot the score at 53-53 with 7:30 on the clock.  After Manoli's deep ball, Meghani followed with a trey of his own while senior Sean Brophy (Blue Bell, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep) chipped in with a long jumper and a made free throw by junior Seth Cordts (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan) capped off the run.   

The Eagles answered with a 5-1 run, as Kevin Stapleton hit a three-pointer to put Juniata up 58-54 at the 5:40 mark. Tartan senior Rashaun Riley (Houston, Texas/Cypress Creek) connected on one of two from the charity stripe to make the score 61-59, but the Eagles answered with two straight baskets to push the lead to 65-59 with 2:25 to play.

With 1:30 to play, Meghani drained his seventh three-pointer of the game pulling the Tartans to within in three (65-62).  After a Juniata layup by Pat Cassidy, Riley closed the Eagles lead to two (67-65) with a trey, as 45 seconds showed on the clock.  Carnegie Mellon then forced a turnover that led to the tying layup by Meghani with 31 ticks left in the game, but Stapleton's trey with 0.3 seconds remaining lifted the home team to a 70-67 victory.

Meghani led the Tartans in scoring, as his seven three-pointers also marked a career-best. Manoli added 14 points while Riley finished the game with nine points in the loss.

Jeremy Hayes led the Eagles with a double-double of 17 points and 10 assists.  Stapleton, Brian Scholly and Kyle Koehler all finished with 14 points.  

Carnegie Mellon will stay on the road, as they travel to Michigan to play Adrian College at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 7.