Tartans Upend Division II Walsh, 85-79
(NORTH CANTON, Ohio) - The Carnegie Mellon University men's basketball team traveled to North Canton, Ohio on Wednesday to play Division II Walsh University in an exhibition contest and defeated the Cavaliers 85-79. The win marks the first for the Tartans over a non-Division III opponent since the 2008-09 season when Carnegie Mellon defeated Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Carnegie Mellon shot 51.8% from the floor while converting 15-of-31 (48.4%) from behind the arc. Walsh ended the game shooting 39.2% and made 14-of-31 from long range.
The Tartans were led by junior Nick Nakasian (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) with 29 points. The junior converted 11-of-14 from the floor including 7-of-8 three-pointers, Classmates Sean Oberman (Flemington, N.J./Hunterdon Central) and Josh Berry (Western Springs, Ill./Lyons Township) ended with 17 and 12 points, respectively. Berry converted 3-of-6 from behind the arc. Sophomore R.J. Holmes (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Adlai Stevenson) led all players with 12 rebounds as the Tartans held a 42-35 edge on the boards over Walsh. Nakasian, Berry and Holmes each dished out four assists in the win.
The Cavaliers started the game on a 16-5 run over the first four minutes. The Tartans then rattled off seven straight points, back-to-back triples by Berry and Nakasian followed by a foul shot by junior Kevin Sax (Highlands Ranch, Colo./Thunder Ridge), to make the score 16-12 with 13:40 to play in the half. Seven minutes later the Tartans cut the home teams lead to 21-20, but Walsh answered scoring 12 straight to push its lead back to double figures at 33-20. Carnegie then closed the half on a 15-5 run and trailed 38-35 at the break after a long ball from senior Charlie Tripp (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mariemont) in the closing seconds.
After falling behind 48-41, the Tartans once again used back-to-back three-point baskets, this time from Nakasian and Tripp, that kept the Tartans within striking distance and made the score 48-47 at the 15:13 mark. Two minute later, the Tartans started a 14-1 run over a span of 3:34 and took a 61-53 lead after back-to-back triples by Nakasian.
Walsh pulled with in three at 73-70 with 2:43 to play, but eight straight points by the Cardinal and Gray extend the lead to 81-70 with 1:18 to play following the traditional three-point play by Oberman. The Cavaliers didn't go away, as they made the score 82-79 less than a minute later, but three made free throws by Oberman in the last 22 seconds closed out the win for the Tartans
The Tartans will be back in action on Saturday, November 20 with a road contest against Allegheny College at 3:00 p.m.