Men’s basketball overpowers Rochester, 59–50

Credit: File Photo Credit: File Photo

The Carnegie Mellon men’s basketball team traveled to upstate New York to wrap up its regular season play with a tight 59–50 victory over the Yellowjackets of the University of Rochester, heading back to Pittsburgh with an improved record of 19–6 overall and 9–5 in University Athletic Association play. The Tartans concluded the season third in the standings within the UAA conference and await their postseason fate later today.

If the Tartans do not make it through, Saturday will have been the final time seniors Terrance Bouldin-Johnson, Elliott Curtis, Ryan Einwag, Corey O’Rourke, Rob Pearson, and Jon Wolleben lace up their sneakers and throw on their Carnegie Mellon jerseys. The six seniors have contributed so much to the team’s success over the past four years, and their first year of collegiate play marked the greatest season in school history with appearances at the UAA Championship and a berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament. Last year, the seniors helped win the school’s first ever ECAC South Championship.

The seniors played an integral role in Saturday’s matchup, as a Bouldin-Johnson jumper opened up the scoring for the Tartans and started a 7–0 run. The team continued to edge on the Yellowjackets, but in the 14th minute, Rochester held on for a back-and-forth lead exchange with a jumper from Anderson and ended with Carnegie Mellon sealing its advantage at the break by nine. Einwag and junior Jack Anderson each contributed eight points to the scoreboard during the first half.

Carnegie Mellon dominated the second half, never relinquishing its lead, only increasing its edge over Rochester to as much as 12 points. In the middle of the period, the teams went back and forth between tallying points, but the Tartans still came out ahead regardless, with a jumper from Anderson and a three-pointer, followed by a jumper from Einwag. The Yellowjackets were unable to close the gap significantly and only came within five points of the Tartans in the last four minutes. With two free throws from first-year Matthew Pettit and three from O’Rourke, the Tartans closed out their final regular season game with a solid victory to surpass the hosting Rochester side with a nine-point edge. Carnegie Mellon shot 38.5 percent in comparison to Rochester’s 25 percent in the second half.

Einwag contributed 18 points and seven rebounds, Anderson chipped in 14 points, O’Rourke added 10 points and four assists, and Pettit grabbed eight rebounds and dropped in six points.
“I am very proud of our team’s accomplishments,” said head coach Tony Wingen. “We have gotten great leadership from our seniors and have improved throughout the season, and we are hopeful of making a long run in the postseason.”