Tartans defeat NYU Violets

Sophomore forward Christian Manoli has been an offensive force this season, leading the team in scoring. (credit: Tommy Hofman/) Sophomore forward Christian Manoli has been an offensive force this season, leading the team in scoring. (credit: Tommy Hofman/)

The Carnegie Mellon men’s basketball team is about three-fourths of the way through the 2011–2012 season, and the team sits on a record of 7–11 (2–5 in UAA play).

The Tartans’ shooting and offensive execution is a key determinant of wins and losses. Dating back to last season, they won 15 regular-season games in a row when shooting above 50 percent from the floor. Last Friday, the Tartans upset the New York University Violets by shooting 55 percent from the field. However, in the previous four games — which were all defeats — the Tartans shot just 44.1 percent.

“In those games we lost I would say our main issue was a lack of execution,” said sophomore guard Marshall Massengale. “In the games we won, we played as one cohesive unit, sharing the ball offensively.”

Despite the sub-.500 record, the younger members on the team seem to be creating a promising season.

Sophomore forward Christian Manoli and sophomore guard Rashaun Riley lead the Tartans in scoring with 11.6 and 11.5 points per game, respectively. Manoli’s 4.8 rebounds per game, 35 assists, and 10 blocks rank third on the team, putting together a well-rounded stat line this season.

Riley is shooting 49 percent from the field, including 45.5 percent from the three-point line. While those numbers also place him third on the team, he has shot the ball significantly more than his two teammates with higher percentages.

Sophomore guard Asad Meghani is also contributing to the Tartans’ rising records. He is averaging 8.0 points per game on 43.9 percent shooting, and an astounding 47.6 percent from behind the arc. His 16 points in the Tartans’ victory over the Violets led the team.

In addition to the younger team members, senior guard John Duhring is performing well during his last season for the Tartans, averaging 10.9 points per game and 4.9 rebounds per game. In the upset over the Violets, Duhring poured in 15 points, shooting six of seven from the field. During the four-game losing streak before the Tartans’ victory over NYU, Duhring averaged just 7.25 points. His production on offense is proving essential to the basketball team’s victories.

“John is a great leader because he leads by example, works hard in practice, and steps up in some games when we really need him,” Massengale said.
On Sunday, the Tartans lost to the Brandeis University Judges with a score of 80–67. Manoli scored 21 points, while junior guard Andre Moore added a career-high 19 points. However, the poor shooting remains a trend in the team’s losses, as Carnegie Mellon shot only 39.7 percent from the field during the game. Allowing the Judges to shoot 58.3 percent hurt the Tartans even more.

With only conference games remaining, if the Tartans step up, they could make a statement in UAA play. From now until Feb. 25, when Carnegie Mellon closes out the season against Case Western Reserve University, the Tartans will play five out of seven of those UAA games at home in Skibo Gymnasium.