Tartans Defeat La Roche 74-64 in Overtime

Tartans Defeat La Roche 74-64 in Overtime

(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) - The Carnegie Mellon University men's basketball team hosted the Redhawks of La Roche College Thursday, December 18 and came away with a 74-64 overtime victory behind sophomore Jack Serbin's (New Albany, Ohio) fifth double-double of the season.  The win improves the Tartans' record to 8-0, tying the second best start in school history, while the Redhawks are now 1-8.  

Carnegie Mellon jumped out to an early 4-0 lead with baskets by junior Blake Chasen (Chevy Chase, Md./Phillips Exeter (N.H.)) and sophomore Jack Serbin (New Albany, Ohio) and never looked back the rest of the half.  With seven minutes to play in the first half, senior Seth Cordts (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan) pushed the Tartans lead to 18-10, but La Roche used a 10-4 run to close the deficit to 22-20 with 3:39 to play in the half.

The Tartans answered the Redhawks scamper by scoring the last nine points of the half to go into the break leading 31-20.  Cordts scored half of his first half 14 points during the stretch, connecting on a pair of treys surrounding a foul shot.

Carnegie Mellon started the second half on a 13-4 run to take its largest lead of the game at 44-26 with 15:25 to play.  The visitor's responded with a 22-4 run over the next nine minutes to deadlock the score at 48-48.  At the 4:18 mark, La Roche's Evan Bonnaure connected on a three-pointer from the top of the arc to give the Redhawks their first lead of the contest at 53-52.  

La Roche held the lead until 49 seconds left in regulation when Cordts connected on a pair of foul shots to put the Tartans on top 60-58.  On the Redhawks ensuing possession, Arnes Bajgora tied the game on a jumper. The Tartans had a chance to win the game in regulation, but Cordts' drive to the hoop and layup was off the mark sending the game into overtime.

Carnegie Mellon outscored La Roche 14-4 in the extra frame to escape with a 74-64 victory. After shooting 10-of-18 from the foul line in the first two frames, the Tartans were 10-of-11 from the charity stripe in overtime to seal their eighth win of the season.

Serbin hauled down a career-best 19 rebounds, helping the Tartans outrebound their seventh opponent.  Carnegie Mellon finished with 49 boards to the Redhawks' 39.  Carnegie Mellon ended the night shooting 41.7% from the floor while La Roche shot 34.9%.

Cordts led all scorers with 26 points while Serbin finished with 16. Serbin also added career-highs of five assists and four steals while finishing with five blocked shots.  Senior Kevin Stursberg (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla./Jacksonville Episcopal) finished one rebound shy of his first career double-double, as the forward scored a career-high 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds.  

La Roche had three players in double figures with Zaire Redding leading the way with 14 points.  Redding also added 13 rebounds.  Andres Abreu ended the night with 13 points while Bonnaure had 11.

Carnegie Mellon will look for its ninth straight victory when it entertains Juniata College (5-4) on Wednesday, December 31.  Tip is slated for 2:00 p.m. on the hardwood of Skibo Gymnasium.  The 2008-09 Tartans squad also started the season winning the first eight contests while the 2005-06 team began the campaign winning the first 10, the best start in school history.