Men's basketball wins more close games over weekend

Senior center Chris Shkil gets way up over a defender as he takes it to the rim in the Tartans' victory last week. (credit: Courtesy of CMU Athletics) Senior center Chris Shkil gets way up over a defender as he takes it to the rim in the Tartans' victory last week. (credit: Courtesy of CMU Athletics)

The Carnegie Mellon men’s basketball team took no time off after this Thanksgiving holiday as they jumped right back on their home court to take on the Saint Vincent College Bearcats in the championship game of the Carnegie Mellon DoubleTree Invitational on Sunday, Nov. 27. The Tartans took the trophy in a decisive victory with a score of 76–62.

The game did not appear to be in the Tartans’ favor at the outset, though. The team made one of seven shots from the field and was trailing after only four minutes of play, but they started to find a rhythm as the game progressed. The Tartans found themselves on a 9–0 scoring run and took a huge lead late in the first quarter, but the Bearcats found a groove of their own and managed to bring the lead to within seven points. The teams continued to scale the length of the court and trade points, but the Tartans held onto their lead and matched their opponents on every score. The closing minutes of the half were tense as Saint Vincent earned eight unanswered points and took a two-point lead. The Tartans quickly squashed the small success of their opponents with a clean three-pointer from senior forward Jack Serbin, and coupled with some clutch free throw shooting they headed into the half in the lead, 34–33.

The Tartans opened the second half with relentless offensive pressure, scoring on their first four shots of the period and eventually taking a 10 point lead to cap the 14-5 run. Junior guard Ryan Maha was a major contributor on this run scoring multiple three-pointers and eight of the 14 points. The Tartans never relinquished their lead.

The Tartans finished the game shooting 44.8 percent overall from the floor, and were led by Serbin who scored 30 points on the night. Maha was the only other Tartan to scores in double digits with 15. Senior center Chris Shkil also contributed nine points and nine rebounds to the Tartan victory.

The Tartans then went on a short road trip on Wednesday to Allegheny College to face off against the Gators. They continued their success from Thanksgiving weekend with a 71–58 victory to improve their record to 4–2 on the season.

Serbin led the Tartans once again in this contest, scoring 22 points and 14 rebounds. Fellow senior Shkil also recorded a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Maha had 13 points of his own along with two clutch three-point shots in the second half to secure the victory for the Tartans. Carnegie Mellon will stay on the road as they travel to Juniata College on Monday, Dec. 5 for a heated game set to start at 7 p.m.