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Tartans Take #18 Emory to Overtime in 87-86 Heartbreaking Loss

Tartans Take #18 Emory to Overtime in 87-86 Heartbreaking Loss

(ATLANTA, Ga.) - The Carnegie Mellon University men's basketball team traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, on Sunday to play the Eagles of Emory University. The Tartans took the 18th-ranked team in the nation to overtime before dropping a heartbreaking 87-86 University Athletic Association (UAA) contest. The overtime loss marks the second for the Tartans to a ranked opponent this season, as they are now 11-11 overall and 4-8 in UAA play. Emory improves to 18-5, 11-2.

Sophomore R.J. Holmes (Buffalo Grove, Ill./Adlai Stevenson) and junior Kevin Sax (Highlands Ranch, Colo./Thunder Ridge) both recorded double-doubles, as it was the 10th on the season for Holmes and fourth for Sax. Holmes ended with 15 points and 11 rebounds while Sax had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Sax also handed out four assists.

Junior Sean Oberman (Flemington, N.J./Hunterdon Central) led the Tartans with 16 points and junior Nick Nakasian (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) was the fourth Tartan to reach double figures with 14 points. Classmate Josh Berry (Western Springs, Ill./Lyons Township) tied a career-high with eight assists in the setback.

Matthew Schner led the Eagles with a game-high 28 points and 11 rebounds. Nick Stuck scored 25, Romin Williams had 14 and Albert Fallas ended with 12.

Over the first 7:31 of the contest, the lead changed hands eight times. The Tartans held a 17-15 lead following a jumper by freshman Nolan Casey (Brooklyn, N.Y./Packer Collegiate School), but on the ensuing possession Williams drained one of his three first half triples that started a streak of eight straight points for the Eagles and made the score 23-17 with 11:42 left in the half. The Tartans cut the deficit to one-point on five different occasions the rest of the half until the Eagles scored seven straight before taking a 43-38 lead into the break.

Early in the second half, Carnegie Mellon used a 12-4 run to take its first lead, 54-53, since the 12:36 mark of the first half. During the run, freshman Aidan Murphy (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West) accounted for seven points. Later in the half, the Tartans put together a 10-4 run over a three-minute span and took their largest lead of the game, 70-63, after a longball by Oberman with eight minutes to play in regulation.

Over the next five minutes, Emory scored 12 straight and regained the lead at 75-70. A minute later, Holmes pulled the Tartans to within a bucket at 75-73 when he connected on a three-pointer from the top of the arc. Emory then pushed its lead to 78-73, but a pair of foul shots by Holmes and then a triple from senior Charlie Tripp (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mariemont) with 48 seconds left in regulation knotted the score at 78-78. The Eagles had an opportunity in the closing seconds of regulation for the win, but a three-point attempt from the corner was no good and sent the game into an extra frame.

Carnegie Mellon opened overtime scoring seven of the first eight points and led 85-79 with 1:44 on the clock. Emory's Fallas then hit two three-point baskets with the last coming from the corner with 24 ticks left that tied the game at 85-85. Holmes was fouled with 10 seconds left and made the second of his free throws to leave the score 86-85. On the ensuing Emory possession, Schner connected on a jump shot to give the home team a one-point lead. Carnegie Mellon had a desperation shot at the buzzer from halfcourt, but Holmes' shot hit off the side of the iron.

Carnegie Mellon will be back on the hardwood Wednesday, February 23, when the Judges of Brandeis University travel to Pittsburgh for a 5:00 p.m. tip.