Tartans Strong First Half Defense Doesn’t Hold at Washington U.

Tartans Strong First Half Defense Doesn’t Hold at Washington U.

(ST. LOUIS, Mo.) – The Carnegie Mellon University men's basketball team traveled to Washington University in St. Louis on Friday for a University Athletic Association (UAA) contest and dropped a hard fought battle, 68-56. Carnegie Mellon is now 8-9 and 3-3 in UAA play, as the Bears move to 11-6, 4-2.

Junior Trent Suddeth (Winter Park, Fla./Trinity Prep) was the lone Tartan to score in double figures with 16 points. Senior Seth Henry (Fulton, Md./Reservoir), junior Zach Howarth (Freehold, N.J./St. John Vianney) and sophomores Daniel Weiss (Marlboro, N.J.) and Joey Krempa (Linden, N.J.) all finished with eight points. Suddeth also led the Tartans with six rebounds while junior Colin McNeil (Ringoes, N.J./Hunterdon Central Regional) handed out a game-high six assists.

DeVaughn Rucker led the Bears with 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Hank Hunter also tabbed a double-double with 16 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Justin Hardy and Matt Nester each chipped in with 11 points.

Washington made its first three baskets of the contest and led 6-4 with 18:35 showing on the clock. Over the next nine minutes, the Tartans held the Bears to zero field goals but managed to convert only three field goals of their own and led 10-8 following a pair of fouls shots by the Bears. The home team took the lead for a brief at 14-13, but on the ensuing possession a Suddeth layup sparked six straight points for Carnegie Mellon and gave the visitors a 19-13 lead.

The Bears made the score 21-20 with four minutes to play in the half, but back-to-back treys by Krempa and Weiss gave Carnegie Mellon its largest lead of the game at 27-20 with 2:27 on the clock. The Bears then scored the last six points of the half and trailed the Tartans 27-26 at the break.

The first six minutes of the second half saw the lead change four times and with the Tartans trailing 33-31, Suddeth and Howarth connected on back-to-back three-pointers and put the Tartans on top 37-33 at the 15:41 mark. Four minutes later, Washington scored six straight points and retook the lead at 45-42.

With the Tartans trailing 51-50, the Bears scored eight straight points and held a 59-50 advantage with 6:18 to play in regulation. The run expanded to 13-1 and gave Washington a 63-51 lead two minutes later and the Bears went on for the 68-56 win.

Carnegie Mellon will be back on the hardwood Sunday, January 27 with a 12:00 p.m. contest at University of Chicago.