PITTSBURGH, Penn. – It takes a lot of determination to knock off an undefeated team on their home floor, especially from behind. That was exactly what the Heidelberg University men's basketball team was able to do on Saturday afternoon, erasing a seven-point halftime deficit to stun the host Tartans. A quick start to the second half gave the Student Princes the lead, while hot shooting and clutch free throws down the stretch helped Heidelberg hold on for the victory.
Despite being out-rebounded 48-25 in the game, the Student Princes were able to come away with the victory.
The Student Princes forced Carnegie Mellon (9-1) into 23 turnovers, which tied a season high for the Tartans.
Heidelberg (5-6) shot 41.7% from behind the 3-point line in the second half while shooting 80% (12-15) from the free throw line in the final period to surge ahead for the win.
James Hanley had the hot hand in the game for the Berg, scoring a team-high 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range.
Kiere' Bennie, coming off a pair of games that earned him All-Tournament honors at the Purple and Gold Tournament, was in double-figures yet again, chipping in 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting.
Despite shooting just 2-of-11 in the game, Marcquice Taylor knocked down three crucial free throws down the stretch that allowed Heidelberg to hold on for the victory.
Carnegie Mellon got off to a quick start, taking a 15-7 lead at the 13:57 mark after Kevin Stursburg knocked down a 3-pointer.
The Tartans were able to maintain that lead throughout the half, building it to as much as 10 with under a minute to play.
A 3-pointer by Ben Jones with two seconds remaining cut the deficit to just seven entering halftime.
Heidelberg flipped the script entering the second period when Hanley and Taylor knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to make the score 40-39 in favor of CMU at the 19:10 mark.
A 10-2 run for the Student Princes in the middle of the half gave them a 62-51 lead with 6:08 remaining.
The Tartans chipped away at the lead and got it down to two with 30 seconds to play, but a pair of free throws by Bennie pushed the lead back up to four.
A 3-pointer by Ryan Maha cut the Heidelberg lead to just one with two seconds to play, but there was not enough time left as Bennie hit another free throw and the Student Princes escaped with the upset road win.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
The loss was the first of the year for Carnegie Mellon, who had won nine straight by an average of 22 points per game.
Head coach Andy Bucheit on his team's effort in the second half: "We play hard, so our effort is never a question. In the second half we started to play smarter. We diagramed two plays to start the half and were able to score on both."
Bucheit on his team's composure: "Our team is growing up and maturing day by day."
The Student Princes return home for an OAC contest on Wednesday, January 7, facing Mount Union. That contest against the Purple Raiders is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. in Seiberling Gymnasium.