Halftime Lead Doesn’t Hold as Tartans Drop Hard Fought Battle at #2 Washington U.

Halftime Lead Doesn’t Hold as Tartans Drop Hard Fought Battle at #2 Washington U.

(ST. LOUIS, Mo.) - The Carnegie Mellon University men's basketball team played the second-ranked Bears of Washington University on Sunday afternoon in St. Louis and fell 86-71 in University Athletic Association (UAA) play. A strong first half for the Tartans was not enough, as Carnegie Mellon falls to 6-18, 2-11 while the Bears remain undefeated in UAA play at 13-0 and are 22-2 overall.

Sophomore Colin McNeil (Ringoes, N.J./Hunterdon Central Regional) led the Tartans with 19 points, tying a career-high. Sophomore Zach Howarth (Freehold, N.J./St. John Vianney) ended with 17 points while junior Patrick Ehland (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) grabbed a career-best 14 rebounds in the setback.

The Bears were led by a trio all with 18 points, Andrew Sanders, David Schmelter and Kevin Kucera. Schmelter added 14 rebounds to lead the Bears and Kucera handed out nine assists.

Carnegie Mellon started the game 7-of-10 from the field and led 16-15 six minutes in following a basket by sophomore Trent Suddeth (Winter Park, Fla./Trinity Prep). With the score knotted at 21-21, Howarth connected on a trey from the top of the arc. Washington U. responded and scored six straight to take a 27-24 advantage.

With 4:06 to play in the first half, sophomore Cooper Williams (Meriden, N.H./Kimball Union Academy) drained a triple from the corner to give the lead back to the Tartans at 34-32. The Bears Jack Nolan gave the lead back to the home team two minutes later with a triple of his own at the 2:17 mark. On the Tartans next possession, freshman Daniel Weiss (Marlboro, N.J.) connected on a three-point bucket that sparked an 11-4 run for the Tartans to end the half. A fade-away bucket by freshman Zach Watson (Dublin, Ohio/Jerome) as time expired put Carnegie Mellon ahead 45-39 as the teams went into the locker room.

The Bears started the second half on a 15-4 run over the first five minutes and led 54-49. Washington U. then put together a 16-4 run midway through the half to extend its lead to 72-57 with 8:44 left in the contest. Carnegie Mellon responded by scoring eight straight and cut the deficit to 72-65. The Bears answered and scored the next 10 points to push the lead back to double figures and go on for the 86-71 win.

Carnegie Mellon concludes its schedule on Saturday, February 24 with a 4:00 p.m. tip against Case Western Reserve University on the hardwood of Skibo Gymnasium.