(MADISON, N.J.) - The Carnegie Mellon University men's basketball team traveled to Madison, New Jersey on Monday afternoon for its final non-conference contest against the Rangers of Drew University. Drew's Riley Collins floater in the lane as time expired lifted the Rangers to an 86-85 win. Carnegie Mellon will enter University Athletic Association (UAA) play with an overall record of 7-4 while Drew moves to 10-2.
It marked the second straight game and sixth time this season the Tartans shot over 50% from the floor. The Cardinal and Gray ended the game shooting 50.8% while Drew shot 45.5%. The game saw the lead change 12 times and the scored tied on one other occasion.
Senior Trent Suddeth (Winter Park, Fla./Trinity Prep) led the Tartans with a season-high 19 points and 13 rebounds to record his third double-double of the season. Freshman Nick Nakasian (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) chipped in with 16 points after shooting 7-of-9 from the floor off the bench. Juniors Ethan Miller (King of Prussia, Pa./Upper Merion) and Daniel Weiss (Marlboro, N.J.) finished with 15 and 10 points, respectively. Senior Colin McNeil (Ringoes, N.J./Hunterdon Central Regional) ended the game with eight points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
Lybrant Robinson led Drew with a game-high 23 points. Collins finished with 17 points while Boice scored 13 off the bench and Howard McBurnie Jr. ended with 12 points.
Suddeth's layup two minutes into play gave Carnegie Mellon a 5-4 lead which was held for 12 minutes until Drew scored five straight points and took a 26-25 advantage. Over the next two minutes, the Tartans scored six consecutive points and led 31-26 before heading into the locker room with a 43-39 lead.
With the Tartans leading 49-44 at the 17:50 mark of the second half, Drew scored six unanswered points to claim a 50-49. The lead was one that was short lived, as Carnegie Mellon got back-to-back layups from Miller and McNeil to take a three-point advantage with 15 minutes to play in the contest. The Tartans lead grew to as many as nine points on two occasions; the last occurring with a 76-67 lead and 4:45 showing on the clock.
Drew used a 10-2 run over a span 2:13 which made the score 78-77 with 2:32 to play and with 20 seconds remaining, Robinson drained a three-pointer to give the home team an 82-81 lead. On the ensuing trip down the court, Weiss put the Tartans back in front with a transition layup from McNeil. Boice then was fouled with 9.2 seconds on the clock and hit both foul shots to give the lead back to the home team. Following a Tartan timeout, junior Joey Krempa (Linden, N.J.) took the inbound pass and drove the court before finding Weiss at the foul line. Weiss then turned around and drained the 15-foot shot to put the Tartans ahead 85-84 with 4.3 ticks left. Collins received the inbound pass, took it end-to-end, and hit the floater at the buzzer.
Carnegie Mellon will open UAA play on Saturday, January 11 when they travel to Cleveland, Ohio. Tip against the Spartans of Case Western Reserve University is at 4:00 p.m.