Strong Second Half Start Leads Tartans Over Allegheny

Strong Second Half Start Leads Tartans Over Allegheny

(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) - The Carnegie Mellon University men's basketball team finished its non-University Athletic Association (UAA) schedule with a 73-65 home victory over Allegheny College on Wednesday afternoon January 8.  The win pushes the Tartans record to 7-4 while the Gators move to 3-9.

With the Tartans trailing 14-8 with seven minutes to play in the first half, senior Christian Manoli (San Rafael, Calif./Terra Linda) sparked an 8-0 run for the home team giving them their first lead of the contest at 16-14 with 5:17 to play in the half.  Manoli started the scamper with two straight layups that were followed by buckets from seniors Rob Mohen (Stamford, Conn./Regis (NY)) and  Rashaun Riley (Houston, Texas/Cypress Creek).  

Carnegie Mellon turned the eight unanswered points into a 17-4 to grab its largest lead of the first frame at 25-18 with two minutes left.  Allegheny then scored seven of the next nine points to end the half cutting the lead to 27-25 at the break.

Allegheny came out of the break extending its run to 13-2 as the Gators scored the first six points of the half on back-to-back three-pointers by Josh Valentic and John O'Donnell to claim a 31-27 advantage with 19 minutes to play.

The Tartans responded to the Gators two quick baskets with three straight of their own, as the third was finished off by a traditional three-point play by Mohen to give Carnegie Mellon 34-31 edge.  After the Gators scored another two fast baskets, Riley drained a trey to give the Tartans the lead back for good at 37-35 with 15 minutes to play in regulation.

Riley's long ball continued the Tartans 26-8 run over an eight minute stretch that ended on a steal and fast break layup by junior Matt Loebbaka (Mt. Prospect, Ill./Prospect) making the score 53-39 with 11:08 showing on the clock.

Allegheny did not go away, as they cut the lead to seven, 62-55, with just under two minutes left, but the Tartans went to line and connected on five foul shots to push the lead back to double figures at 67-56 with 53 ticks left in the contest.  The Gators continued to fight, but Carnegie Mellon sealed the victory making 5-of-6 from the line in the final 27 seconds to come away its seventh victory of the season.
For the fifth time this season, Carnegie Mellon held the edge on the glass hauling down 40 rebounds to the Gators 33.  Carnegie Mellon won its seventh contest of the season when shooting better than 45% from the field, as the Tartans end the contest shooting 49.1% while the Gators shot 43.5%.

Manoli led Carnegie Mellon with 15 points, while Riley and senior Asad Meghani (Dallas, Texas/The Greenhill School) scored 13 each and Mohen ended with 11 in the victory. Freshman Jack Serbin (New Albany, Ohio) led all players on the boards hauling down a career-best nine rebounds as he also tied a career-high with two blocks.

Allegheny's Clark Tritto scored 14 points while Ryan Stanko scored 12, D'Andre Corbin 11 and Marco Corona 10 in the setback.  

Carnegie Mellon will start UAA play on Saturday, January 5, when the travel to Cleveland, Ohio to play Case Western Reserve University for a 5:00 p.m. tip.