(CLEVELAND, Ohio) – The Carnegie Mellon University men's basketball team traveled to Case Western Reserve University for the first University Athletic Association (UAA) game of the season on Saturday, January 11. The Tartans dropped the contest by an 88-81 score to move to 7-5 on the year.
Senior Zach Howarth (Freehold, N.J./St. John Vianney) led the Tartans with 24 points while senior Colin McNeil (Ringoes, N.J./Hunterdon Central Regional) and junior Ethan Miller (King of Prussia, Pa./Upper Merion) each scored 15 points. Senior Trent Suddeth (Winter Park, Fla./Trinity Prep) finished with his fourth double-double of the season with 11 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.
The Spartans won the shooting percentage battle in the first half, shooting above their average and hitting 48.5% of their shots while limiting the Tartans to 34.4% (14.9% below their average) to lead 39-33 at the break.
An early 10-1 run by the Spartans from the 15-minute mark to 11:33 showing on the clock gave the home team a cushion they held the remainder of the half despite the Tartans chipping away at the lead to trail by just six at the break.
Howarth had a 10-point run of his own in the half and led the Tartans with 14 points at the break. The Spartans connected on 7-of-15 from long range to contribute to their lead with both teams committing just five turnovers for the half.
After Antonio Ionadi made his fourth three-pointer of the second half, the Tartans went on a 5-0 run to pull within five points on a triple by junior Daniel Weiss (Marlboro, N.J./Marlboro). The Spartans answered with a 10-2 spurt behind the shooting of Robert Faller and Cole Frilling to lead by 13 points again.
A 14-point lead by the Spartans with 6:53 to play was cut to five by the Tartans with two minutes to play on a driving layup by Howarth. Junior Zach Watson (Dublin, Ohio/Jerome) made it a four-point deficit with one minute to go with a driving layup after an offensive rebound by the Tartans.
The Tartans did make it a one-possession game with 24 seconds to go but were unable to come up with a steal. Michael Volkening connected on two free throws to make it a five-point game and later made another two from the line, as the Spartans won 88-81.
Frilling led the Spartans with 27 points with Ionadi finishing with 20, as the Spartans tied a season-high with 14 made three-pointers. The Spartans also finished with a 51.7% effort from the floor, a season-best, while the Tartans shot 42.9% after the slow start.
The Tartans will next host the University of Chicago on Friday, January 17 at 8:00 p.m.