The Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team suffered a loss in the opening game of its University Athletic Association schedule, falling to Carnegie Mellon University 78-61 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Saturday night.
The loss dropped the Spartans to 5-7 on the year, while Carnegie Mellon improved to 7-5.
CWRU freshman forward Connor Nally finished with a team-leading and career-high 15 points, shooting six-of-10 from the field and three-of-six from long range, and adding seven rebounds. Junior forward T.J. Duckett finished the game with 14 points and 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season.
With the game tied at 6-6 early in the first half, the Spartans went cold from the field, allowing Carnegie Mellon to go on a 15-0 run, as the Tartans took a 21-6 lead with 12:57 to play in the opening period. The Spartans cut the lead down to 10 on a three-pointer by freshman forward Sam Hansen with 6:33 to play, but Carnegie Mellon rebuilt its advantage to 18 with 2:52 remaining in the first, and carried a 15-point lead, 43-28, into the halftime break.
The Spartans trailed by as many as 22 in the second half, 53-31 with 16:21 to play in the game, before the Tartans went cold from the field, going nearly six minutes without a field goal. The Spartans took advantage of Carnegie Mellon's cold streak with a 16-4 run that pulled the team back within 10, 57-47, with 9:34 to play on a jump shot by junior guard Colin Zucker. However, that would be as close as the Spartan could get for the remainder of the game, with Carnegie Mellon eventually closing the 17-point win.
Jack Serbin turned in a big game for the Tartans, finishing with 23 points and 20 rebounds in the win.
The Spartans will look to bounce back next weekend, when the team continues UAA play in New York, New York against the NYU Violets at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, January 13th.