Men’s basketball welcomed a pair of UAA rivals to the Palestra this past weekend, facing Case Western Reserve University on Friday, January 17 and Carnegie Mellon University on Sunday, January 19. The ‘Jackets went 1-1 on the weekend, beating Case Western in a tight game before falling to 9-5 Carnegie Mellon.
The game against Case Western was the team’s first home contest in over a month, with fans coming out in droves to pack the Palestra for the team’s first game of the semester.
The visitors took control in the first half, leading throughout by margins as big as 14, though UR managed to bring themselves within striking distance by halftime, heading to the locker rooms trailing 42-35.
The ‘Jackets struggled to make a dent in Case Western’s lead until about halfway through the second half, when UR went on a 9-2 run to get within two points of the visitors. There would be several lead changes in the final minutes of the game, but strong defense helped to secure the victory for UR.
With his team leading by three and only 2.7 seconds remaining, sophomore Dylan Peretz, who had eight points and eight rebounds, made a clutch steal to thwart Case Western’s attempt at a last second shot to tie the game, thus ending the game.
Other big performances for the ‘Jackets came from sophomore Jared Seltzer, who scored a career high of 14 points, and freshman Sam Borst-Smith, who grabbed five rebounds to go along with his four assists and three steals.
Sunday’s game against Carnegie Mellon was another close affair, and despite holding a 13-point lead, UR wasn’t able to top the hot-shooting Tartans. Carnegie Mellon’s nine three-pointers on 11 shots in the second half proved to make a huge difference, especially when Rochester only sank two three pointers on 13 attempts.
Also significant was the disparity in free throws made between the teams. While Carnegie scored 21 points on foul shots, UR only had eight.
There were some bright spots for the home team in defeat, however, such as senior Nate Vernon’s 10 points, which put his career total for points at 1,005, making him only the 22nd men’s basketball player at UR to ever reach such a milestone.
Freshman Mack Montague also had a big game, scoring 19 points, including a trio of three-pointers.
The split weekend leaves the ‘Jackets at 7-7 this season. The team will next be in action on Friday, January 24 when they travel to Boston, Mass. to face UAA for Brandeis University. After the game, UR will travel south to New York City where they will take on the Violets of NYU to wrap up their weekend road trip.
Shapiro is a member of
the class of 2016.