Tartans Winning Streak Snapped with 73-70 Loss at Penn State Behrend
(ERIE, Pa.) - The Carnegie Mellon University men's basketball team opened the new year with a trip north to play the Lions of Penn State Behrend on Sunday afternoon. The Tartans win streak snapped at four games with a 73-70 setback to the Lions. Carnegie Mellon is now 6-3 with Behrend moving to 8-2.
Carnegie Mellon shot 39.3% (24-61) from the floor and held a 36-34 advantage on the boards. Sophomore R.J. Holmes (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Adlai Stevenson) recorded his fourth straight double-double with a team-high 24 points and 10 rebounds. The sophomore made 8-of-10 from the floor and from the foul line. Sophomore Jack Stone (Newport Beach, Calif./Corona Del Mar) ended with 14 points while junior Sean Oberman (Flemington, N.J./Hunterdon Central) had 13.
Kenny Fukon led Behrend with 31 points with RJ Marsh ended with 21. Owen Flisnik led all players with 16 rebounds for the Lions. Behrend finished the game shooting 50.0% (28-56) from the floor and shot 40.0% (8-20) from behind the arc.
Carnegie Mellon jumped out to an early 7-0 lead two minutes into play and maintained its lead the rest of the first half taking a 31-29 lead into the locker room. Behrend pulled to within a point at 15-14, but six straight points by the Tartans pushed the lead back to seven points with just under 12 minutes left in the first half. With 6:07 on the clock, Nakasian gave the Cardinal and Gray their third seven-point lead of the frame which made the score 27-20, but the Lions then closed the first twenty minutes on a 9-4 run.
The Lions extended their run to 12-4, as the second half started with a traditional three-point play by Fukon to give the home team its first lead of the game at 32-31. A triple by Oberman on the Tartans next trip down the court gave the lead back to the Tartans but the hot hand stayed with the Lions, as thy used a 9-1 run to take a 41-35 lead with 16:52 to play.
With the score 71-63 Behrend, Holmes made a pair of free throws with 18 seconds remaining, Oberman stole the inbound pass, Holmes then converted a layup, and the score was 71-67. Following a timeout by the Tartans, the Lions turned the ball over on the ensuing inbound with 7.4 ticks on the clock. Stone then converted a deep three-point bucket to make the score 71-70 with three seconds to play. Behrend's Tommy DiRienzo was fouled and made both foul shots pushing the score to 73-70. The Tartans had one last chance, but a halfcourt desperation shot by Stone hit the front of the rim, bounced up, hit the backboard and bounced again o the rim before falling to the floor.
Carnegie Mellon returns to the hardwood on Tuesday, January 4 with a 6:00 p.m. tip at Messiah University.