(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) - Senior Colin McNeil (Ringoes, N.J./Hunterdon Central Regional) becomes Carnegie Mellon University men's basketball all-time leader in assists during the Tartans' 82-81 overtime setback to the visiting Yellowjackets of the University of Rochester on Sunday afternoon in Skibo Gymnasium. The Tartans are now 10-14 overall and 3-10 in University Athletic Association (UAA) play while the Yellowjackets move to 16-8, 7-6.
McNeil ended the game with nine assists giving him 449 for his career, as he surpassed the mark of 442 set by Todd Jenkins (1989-93). Senior Trent Suddeth (Winter Park, Fla./Trinity Prep) led the Tartans with his 12th double-double of the season with 22 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. Senior Zach Howarth (Freehold, N.J./St. John Vianney) along with juniors Daniel Weiss (Marlboro, N.J.) and Ethan Miller (King of Prussia, Pa./Upper Merion) all had 13 points for the Tartans who shot 57.4% from the floor.
Rochester was headed by Patrick Benka's game-high 27 points. Ross Gang finished with 13 points while Ryan Algier and Kailan Lee ended with 12 and 11, respectively. Gang also handed out seven assists for the Yellowjackets. Rochester finished the game shooting 43.6% from the floor.
The overtime frame started with a layup by Rochester's Mitchell Kershner before the Tartans rattled off eight straight points to grab an 81-75 with 2:45 to play. Little did the Tartans know those were the last points scored of the game for the Cardinal and Gray. Rochester scored the final seven points of the contest, including a jumper by Lee with 1.5 seconds left on the clock which made the score 82-81. Following a timeout, Carnegie Mellon had one last chance, but a desperation half-court shot by Howarth hit the side of the rim.
Following a 37-36 halftime lead for the home team, Carnegie Mellon took a 48-42 advantage four minutes into the second half. Rochester then used an 8-2 run which knotted the game at 50-50. Over the next two minutes, the Tartans answered by scoring seven straight and pushed the lead to 57-50. The Yellowjackets slowly chipped away at the deficit and managed to take a 70-69 lead with 1:18 to left in regulation, their first since the 14-minute mark of the first half.
With 10.5 seconds remaining in the second half, Howarth drained a jumper to put the Tartans back ahead, 71-70. On the ensuing possession, Benka took a pass from Gang under the basket and got fouled after making a layup with 3.6 seconds on the clock which gave Rochester a 72-71 edge. Benka missed the and-one attempt and the rebound went into the hands of the Tartans. Following a timeout and a Rochester foul, one they had to give, McNeil inbounded the rock and found Suddeth under the basket where the senior laid it in for the go ahead score with .9 seconds left. On the inbound pass following Suddeth's basket, Benka drew a foul and was sent to the charity stripe where he missed his first attempt before making the second to send the game to overtime.
Carnegie Mellon concludes its schedule on Saturday, February 29 with a 4:00 p.m. tip against Case Western Reserve University on the hardwood of Skibo Gymnasium.