PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Despite a getting a career-high 21 points from senior Colby Smith (No. Andover, Mass./No. Andover), who played all 40 minutes in just his sixth start of the season, the Brandeis University men's basketball team suffered a 78-70 loss at the hands of Carnegie Mellon in a University Athletic Association (UAA) road contest today.
Brandeis owned a 31-24 lead at halftime as the Judges held the Tartans to 28 percent shooting from the field (7-25). Junior guard Jack Fay (New Rochelle, N.Y./Suffield Acad.) led the Judges with 10 first-half point, while sophomore Jordan Cooper (Weston, Fla./Sagemont School) had nine.
The teams traded 3-pointers and lay-ups early in the second half before a Cooper bucket at the 17:23 mark gave the Judges their largest lead of the game, 38-29. CMU answered with a 16-2 run over the next six-plus minutes as the Judges went 1-8 with three turnovers in the span to fall behind, 45-40.
The Tartans eventually went ahead, 54-46, with 8:38 remaining, but the Judges quickly tied it up, scoring eight quick points on 3-pointers by sophomore Carlin Haymon (Boston, Mass./Rivers School) and Cooper, followed by a Cooper lay-up at 6:34 that tied it at 54-all.
The lead traded hands three times over the next minute and a half, with a Smith 3-pointer at 5:02 giving the Judges a 60-58 lead. CMU's Ryan Maha answered with a jumper to tie the game at 60, and after three-straight turnovers, Maha scored again, followed by a Chris Shkil jumper to make it 64-60. The Tartans never trailed again. Though Smith answered with a traditional three-point play to get back within one, the hosts scored 12 of the next 15 points to pull away.
The Judges fell despite Smith's 21 points and 40 minutes, both career-highs. He hit 9-of-14 from the field, 1of-2 from deep and 2-of-3 from the line. Smith also led the team with six rebounds. Sixteen of his 21 points came in the second half. Cooper finished with 19 points and five rebounds, while Fay ended with 13 points.
CMU rebounded from a slow first half to shoot 68 percent in the second half (19-28) and outscore Brandeis, 54-39. Shkil led all players with 24 points on 10-of-17 from the floor and 4-of-4 from the line. Maha wound up with 15 points and Jack Serbin registered a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. He also had four blocked shots. The trio scored 45 of their 53 points in the second half.
The Judges return to action with another UAA road trip next weekend. They will be at the University of Rochester next Friday night at 8 p.m. and at Emory University next Sunday at noon.