February 12, 2006

No. 16 Carnegie Mellon holds off Brandeis men, 86-74

PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- The Carnegie Mellon University men's basketball team led from wire-to-wire today as the host Tartans defeated visiting Brandeis University, 86-74, in a University Athletic Association (UAA) contest in Skibo Gymnasium.

Brandeis (12-10, 5-6) had the game's leading scorer in sophomore forward Steve DeLuca (Merrimack, N.H.), who had 27 points on 13-of-20 shooting from the floor with a 3-pointer. DeLuca also led the Judges with seven rebounds. Rookie Kevin Olson (Rockport, Mass.) came off the bench to supply a career-high 12 points, while sophomore guard Kwame Graves-Fulgham (Amherst, Mass.) had 11 and team-bests with four assists and four steals.

Carnegie Mellon (18-4, 8-3 UAA) answered with a balanced attack, as four starters scored in double figures and seven different players hit 3-pointers. Clayton Barlow-Wilcox (Brookline, Mass.) led the Tartans with 16 points, hitting six-of-12 from the floor and four-of-six frmo the line. Classmate Nate Maurer (Pittburgh, Pa.) added 15 points and both players tied for game-high honors with nine rebounds. Also reaching double figures for the hosts were senior forward Marques Johnson (Pittsburgh, Pa.) with 14 points and sophomore guard Jeff Kozak (Huntington, Pa.) with 12. Maurer also led all players with five assists. The Tartans shot 50 percent from the floor for the game (31-62) and from beyond the arc (10-20).

Brandeis stayed close in the first half, hitting on 53 percent from the floor (16-30) and seven of their eight free throws, but CMU was even hotter, hitting 18-of-32 (56 percent). The Judges trailed by seven, 47-40, at the break, as DeLuca had 16 points in the first, while Barlow-Wilcox had 10. An 8-1 run to start the second half by Carnegie Mellon put the hosts ahead 14 with less than two minutes elapsed. The Judges got to within seven points on four different occasions, but could not get any closer. CMU ended the contest with a 40-27 rebounding advantage, helping overcome 21 turnovers forced by the Judges.