PITTSBURGH, Pa. - La Roche men's basketball lost their fifth game of the season tonight at Carnegie Mellon, 76-73. After being outscored 43-27 in the first half, the Redhawks battled back and outscored the Tartans 46-33 in the second to bring the game within a single possession with one minute remaining. Unfortunately, the Redhawks came up three points shy of completing the miraculous comeback.
After tonight's defeat, LRU closes out their non-conference schedule with an 0-5 record. The last time La Roche went 0-5 in non-conference action was back in the 2015-16 season when they lost their first five games. Tonight's win over the Redhawks is the first for the Tartans since January 4th, 2016. La Roche is now 6-4 against the local D-III opponent dating back to the 2010-11 season.
Final: La Roche: 73, Carnegie Mellon: 76
Records: La Roche (1-5, AMCC: 1-0), Carnegie Mellon (4-2)
How it Happened
Carnegie Mellon started the contest on an 11-2 run in the first five minutes and 40 seconds of action. During that time, LRU shot 1-10 (10%) from the field. Senior guard Kennedy Smith ended the Tartans run by scoring two buckets; the first an un-balanced, one-foot mid-range jumper and the second a contested driving layup to bring the Redhawks within five. Sophomore forward Shawn Dunnings layed in a shot to bring the deficit to four, but CMU then scored back-to-back three-pointers to go up 18-9.
After a La Roche timeout, CMU went on a 12-4 run to gain a 17-point lead, their largest of the game at the time. The Tartans ended the half ahead 43-2; a season-low in first half points for La Roche. In the first 20 minutes of action, the Redhawks shot 11-32 (34%) from the field and 3-13 (23%) from beyond the arc while Carnegie Mellon shot 17-38 (45%) from the field and 5-13 (39%) from beyond the arc. CMU dominated LRU on the boards, out-rebounding the Redhawks 25-16 in the first-half and more than doubling La Roche's offensive rebounds.
The Tartans carried their offensive momentum into the second, starting on a 9-3 run in the first 2 minutes and 30 seconds of action to increase the lead to 23 points. Over the next five minutes, La Roche went on 10-1 run behind 6 points from Smith to reduce the deficit to 14 points.
With four minutes and forty seconds remaining in the game, Senior guard Darius Lawerence knocked down a mid-range jumper to bring the game within eight points; the smallest Redhawk deficit since the 13 minute mark of the first half. Then, with two minutes remaining in the contest, Junior guard Austin Hannes knocked down a three-pointer off a feed from Smith to bring the Redhawks within four.
After a CMU 3-PT, Smith and Lawrence scored back-to-back layups to make it a one possession game. The Tartans led 74-71 with less than a minute remaining and would hold that three point lead to win their fourth game of the season.
Inside the Box Score
Kennedy Smith led the Redhawks in scoring for the third game this season, posting a game-high 27 points on 11-18 (61%) FG. Smith has scored at least 20 points in his last four games.
Junior forward Tyler Frederick and Lawerence also finished in double-digit scoring figures for the Redhawks (Frederick: 13, Lawrence: 13). Frederick also corralled a team-high 9 rebounds.
La Roche attempted a season-high 28 shots from 3-PT range but only knocked down 5 of them (18%), their lowest percentage in a game this season.
The Redhawks out-rebounded the Tartans 26-14 in the second half.
Carnegie Mellon dominated inside, scoring 48 points in the paint compared to La Roche's 34.
Senior guard Colin McNeal recorded CMU's first triple-double in program history posting 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.
Five different Tartans finished with 10+ points led by Ethan Miller and Daniel Weiss (15).
NEXT UP: Men's basketball takes on Pitt Bradford at home this Saturday, December 7th beginning at 1:00 p.m.