(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) - The Carnegie Mellon University men's basketball team hosted Washington University in St. Louis in a University Athletic Association (UAA) showdown Friday night and a buzzer beater right outside the paint by the Bears Matt Nester lifted the visitor's to an 87-85 win on the hardwood of Skibo Gymnasium. The setback moves the Tartans record to 8-11, 3-5 UAA while WashU is now 13-6, 6-2.
Both teams had the hot hand from the floor with the Tartans shooting 59.3% (32-54) and the Bears' 54.2% (32-59) from the floor. WashU converted 10-of-16 (62.5%) from behind the arc while the Tartans made 9-of-20 (45.0%). The Bears held a 34-25 advantage on the boards, including a 13-6 edge of the offensive glass that led to an output of 22 second-chance points.
Junior Zach Howarth (Freehold, N.J./St. John Vianney) led the Tartans with his second straight 20-point game with a game-best 25 points on 10-of-15 from the floor with three long balls. Senior Seth Henry (Fulton, Md./Reservoir) converted 10-of-13 from the field for 23 points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds. Junior Trent Suddeth (Winter Park, Fla./Trinity Prep) finished with 16 points and junior Colin McNeil (Ringoes, N.J./Hunterdon Central Regional) tied a career-high with 10 assists.
Justin Hardy led four Bears in double figures with 25 points. Jack Nolan scored 22, Nester 15 and Jonathan Arenas 10.
Back-to-back three-point baskets by Henry and Howarth gave the Tartans an early 13-7 lead five minutes into the contest. Carnegie Mellon's lead grew to 18-10 following Howarth's second triple of the half at the12:50 mark. The Bears then used an 8-2 run over the next two minutes to pull within a basket, but the Tartans rebounded and took their largest lead of the half, 36-27, following a long ball by junior Cooper Williams (Meriden, N.H./Kimball Union Academy) with 3:47 left and led 42-36 at the break.
WashU started the second half on a 9-3 run which knotted the score at 45-45, but a three-point bucket by Howarth and a layup by Suddeth sandwiched with a basket by the Bears made the score 50-47 with 15:07 showing on the clock. The Bears then scored 12 straight points and took their first lead of the contest at 59-50 with 13 minutes to play.
Carnegie Mellon trailed 80-72 with 3:56 remaining and used a 10-2 run over a 2:56 span to tie the score at 82-82 with 59.6 seconds left after three made foul shots by Williams. WashU made the score 85-83 with 12 ticks on the clock, Howarth then tied the score at 85-85 a runner in the paint with 5.6 seconds on the clock. Nester then took the inbound pass and drove up the court amidst pressure by the Tartans for the game winning score.
The Tartans will remain at home for their next contest when they host University of Chicago on Sunday, February 3 at 12:00 p.m.