Men’s Basketball Drops Close Battle to Penn State Behrend

Men’s Basketball Drops Close Battle to Penn State Behrend

(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) - The Carnegie Mellon University men's basketball team hosted the Lions of Penn State Behrend, Wednesday, January 6, and dropped a 76-71 contest after leading for more than 18 minutes of the second half. Carnegie Mellon concludes its non-conference slate with a record of 7-4 while Penn State Behrend improves to 8-1.

The Lions scored the first seven points of the contest over the first two minutes of play before Tartan junior Jack Serbin (New Albany, Ohio) scored 10 of the next 12 points, as Carnegie Mellon grabbed a 10-9 edge with 14:20 on the clock.

The remainder of the first stanza saw seven more lead changes with the Tartans holding the largest lead at 22-15 with nine to play.  Over the next five minutes, Penn State Behrend used a 16-5 run to regain the advantage. The Tartans then closed the half on a 9-3 run, including a long ball by sophomore Ryan Maha (West Mifflin, Pa.) in the closing seconds of the half to lead 36-34.  

Carnegie Mellon shot 50% from the floor in the first half while converting 6-of-7 from behind the arc.  Penn State Behrend shot 52% from the floor, but missed all five of its shots from long range.  At the break, the Lions' Zane Hackett led all scorers with 24 of his career-best 36 points.

The second half started with a Serbin layup and then back-to-back three-point buckets by Maha, as the Tartans took the largest lead of the game, 44-34. The Lions followed with a 9-3 run to climb back into the contest, but Carnegie Mellon pushed its lead back to nine (63-54) on a made foul shot by senior Kemal Dincer (Istanbul, Turkey/Texas Christian University) with 8:35 to play.

The Tartans held a 68-60 lead with 4:18 to play, but the Lions outscored Carnegie Mellon 16-3 down the stretch to go on for the 76-71 win.  Carnegie Mellon went 1-of-6 from the floor during the run while Penn State Behrend converted 5-of-7, including a three-pointer by Justin Gorny with 1:08 left that gave the visitors the lead for good.

After making half of their shots in the first half, the Tartans shot 38.2% from the floor in the second to finish shooting 43.5% for the night.  Penn State Behrend continued its hot shooting and shot 54.2% in the second half and 53.1% for the game.

Serbin led Carnegie Mellon with 23 points and 10 rebounds to record his fifth double-double of the season.  Maha added 14 points while junior Chris Shkil (Mentor, Ohio/Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin) tabbed his second double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Hackett also tabbed a double-double for the Lions, as he grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds to go with his 36 points.  Gorny finished the game with 14 points.

The Tartans will open University Athletic Association play on Saturday, January 9 when they travel to Cleveland, Ohio.  Tip against the Spartans of Case Western Reserve University is at 5:00 p.m.