Rochester Grabs First UAA Win, Tops Carnegie Mellon 65-60

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The University of Rochester men's basketball team snagged its first conference win of the season by defeating Carnegie Mellon University 65-60 on Friday night at the Louis Alexander Palestra.


Rochester (5-10, 1-3 UAA) used a 14-0 burst in the second half to go from down three to up 11 with 11:56 remaining, a lead which the home Yellowjackets would never relinquish in what proved to be a back and forth contest.  Overall, the game featured five ties and 13 lead changes.  Carnegie Mellon drops to 10-5 and 1-3 in the UAA.


The Yellowjackets were led by sophomores Sam Borst-Smith and Mack Montague who scored 20 and 13 points respectively.  Borst-Smith led all scorers in the game and had a great all-around game with 6 rebounds, 5 steals and 4 assists.


CMU's leading scorer was sophomore Jack Serbin who posted a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds while Chris Shkil added 10 points off the bench for the Tartans.


The visiting Tartans would score the first six points of the game, jumping out to what would turn out to be their largest lead of the contest behind a Blake Chasen layup and two Serbin jumpers.  Rochester would answer back with seven straight points, coming from a Montague jumper and two Borst-Smith baskets.


Both teams would swap the lead multiple times the rest of the half, with CMU holding a 33-30 lead going into halftime.  UR was able to keep it close despite shooting just 26% from the floor, scoring 13 points off of nine Carnegie turnovers in the first half.


In the second half, UR used strong work on the glass, especially offensively, to generate key 2nd chance points during the 14-0 run that would eventually give UR the cushion it needed to win.  Down three with 17:27 to play, Tyler Sankes would start things off with a nice post move for a lay-in.


After a CMU miss and then another turnover, Dylan Peretz missed a lay-up but followed his shot, getting an offensive rebound which turned into a Alex Hoey 3-pointer.  Borst-Smith would the pick a CMU pocket and lead a fast break which ended in another three, this time by Tyler Seidman, putting UR up five.


The run kept going with Sankes cleaning up a Hoey miss on the offensive glass for another put back lay-in.  The senior would then stuff Serbin at the other end giving UR the ball back where Peretz would make a miraculous tip-in off a 3-pointer miss.  Kevin Sheehy would cap the run with two free throws after swiping his 2nd steal of the game.


Down the stretch, the Tartans would close to as little as three after a Jason Sebak 3-pointer with 1:03 on the clock, but Borst-Smith made a fantastic spinning circus shot in the lane, getting fouled in the process on the next possession to seal the game.


For the game, UR shot 33.3% (22-66) from the floor, making six threes while the Tartans were 18-50 (36%) from the floor.  Both teams pulled down 40 rebounds, with UR forcing 19 CMU turnovers, a season high for a Rochester opponent.


The Yellowjackets return to the floor on Sunday, hosting #25 ranked Case Western Reserve University (12-3, 3-1 UAA) at 12 pm.