Saturday’s game between UR and Carnegie Mellon University is the hottest ticket in town. There is a lot at stake for both teams.

The winner claims the University Athletic Association Conference Championship and earns an automatic berth in the Division III tournament. The loser finishes the season with a fine record – not much consolation there.

For seniors Seth Hauben, Brendan McAllister, Ryan Mee and Gabe Perez, this could be their last time playing together. Careers hang in the balance in the biggest game of their four years at UR.

A game of this magnitude will test the character of each player who takes the floor. No one has to hype up a championship game like this one.

CMU is a well-balanced team that can cause damage with multiple players. UR will do what they do best – ride the work horse.

However, UR has one clear advantage – the sixth man, i.e. the home court advantage. Every student who has a sliver of school spirit should be in the Palestra stands a half-hour before the game, on their feet and cheering like mad for the entire game.

The Palestra is no Cameron Indoor Stadium, but we can give our best imitation of a crazy student section for one game. Lose your voice – it’s nothing that a few Pepsis can’t cure after the game. This team has been the most successful one in the past few years. We owe them a packed Palestra.

This past weekend UR split a two-game Midwest swing against the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis. On Friday night, Hauben scored 28 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead the Yellowjackets to a 70-59 win.

Hauben became UR’s career rebounding leader with 1,028 rebounds, passing Chris Fite. The All-American also moved into fourth place in career scoring with 1,609 total career points.

“He was tremendous,” Head Coach Mike Neer said of Hauben’s performance. “I think he remembered Chicago holding him to four points.”

UR maintained its 2.5-game lead over CMU in the UAA race. To put it simply, if UR had won on Sunday, they would have clinched the UAA title and would take the excitement out of this Saturday’s game against CMU.

However, the Yellowjackets fell to Washington, 62-59. Once again, Hauben produced another double-double – his 17th of the season – with 26 points and 17 rebounds.

He was UR’s only double-figure scorer. Freshmen Onyiriuka and Jeff Juron, had eight points apiece.

Hauben and fellow seniors Perez, Mee and McAllister become the first Yellowjacket class to win 20 or more games in each of their four seasons.

Rovinsky can be reached at mrovinsky@campustimes.org.



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