Men’s basketball opens season play with two wins

The Carnegie Mellon men’s basketball team commences season play with a not-so-surprising start, coming away with two wins from opening weekend. The Tartans hope to build on last season’s momentum, which they finished with a solid 19–9 record and the ECAC South Championship title. Three of the five starters from last year’s championship team return to the court this year, along with 11 other key returners. With the bar set high, the Tartans are already living up to expectations with victories over Westminster College and Wesley College in the 17th Annual Buzz Ridl Classic held Thursday and Friday.

On Thursday, Carnegie Mellon headed to New Wilmington, Pa. to the campus of the Westminster College Titans and defeated the host team 70–65. The Tartans appeared to still be in warmup mode for the first five minutes of the game, but soon came to life just six minutes into the game, going on a 10–0 run. With 11:24 remaining in the first half, the Tartans were up 16–5, and with 9:09 remaining, senior Elliott Curtis knocked down a three to give them a 23–8 lead. At the end of the half, Carnegie Mellon had a double-digit lead over the Westminster Titans.

The Titans rallied in the second half, cutting the Tartans’ lead to seven, but Carnegie Mellon kept its composure and went on a 6–2 run to make the score 49–37.

With 9:21 remaining in the game, the Titans closed in again to cut the Tartans’ lead at 56–50. Titan guard Max Spinner caught fire, scoring nine consecutive points to put Westminster within one point of the Tartans at 60–59 with just 6:44 left in the game.

Senior Terrance Bouldin-Johnson pulled through for the Tartans, though, with four consecutive points to increase the lead to five. The Tartans held onto the lead and came away with the 70–65 victory.
The Tartans were 33.9 percent from the field and were led by senior Ryan Einwag, who finished the game with 21 points. Junior Jack Anderson added 12 and Bouldin-Johnson contributed eight points in the win. The Tartans pulled in 40 rebounds in the game with senior Corey O’Rourke grabbing seven boards.

The Tartans faced the Wolverines of Wesley College Friday and put a 90–77 victory on the scoreboard. The start of the game was a battle with possession of the lead, changing nine times in the first 10 minutes.

After senior Rob Pearson drained two straight baskets, the Tartans found their rhythm and went on a 15–4 run to give them a 31–21 lead with 6:01 to go in the first half. When the teams headed to the locker rooms for halftime, the Tartans led by 10 at 46–36.

After what must have been an inspiring halftime talk, Carnegie Mellon started the second half with an 8–2 run and eventually pulled away with a 19-point lead.

The Wolverines climbed their way back into the game and narrowed the gap to 10, but could not hold on as the Tartans ran away with a 90–77 win.

Anderson put up 17 points in the win while Einwag and senior Jon Wolleben added 16 and 14 points, respectively.

The Tartans face Wooster College Tuesday for their home opener in Skibo Gymnasium at 7:30 p.m.