The Emory University men's basketball team suffered a home setback Friday night, falling to Carnegie Mellon University 78-71 in University Athletic Association action.
Freshman Jair Knight led all scorers with 17 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds while classmate Benjamin Pearce had 16 points and doled out five assists which led both sides. All 11 players scored for the Eagles on the evening with Knight and Pearce the lone Emory players in double figures.
For the Tartans, all five starters finished in double digits with RJ Holmes and Nick Nakaslan each contributing 15 points in the winning effort. Nakaslan tied for the team lead as well in rebounding, collecting eight boards as did Josh Berry and Kevin Sax.
Carnegie Mellon used a 13-3 lead midway through the first half to take the lead and would control the tempo for the remainder of the half. The Tartans led by as many as nine points on two different occasions in the opening twenty minutes and led by five, 30-25, at the halftime break. Emory struggled shooting from the floor out of the games, going 10-for-44 in the first half and was 0-for-13 from distance.
CMU maintained its lead for all of the second half, managing to thwart several Eagle runs to get back within a single possession. The Eagles cut the deficit to as little as three four different times until the Tartans were able to push it back to a nine-point edge with 6:48 remaining.
The visitors kept at least a two possession lead from there until a 9-4 Emory burst within the final two minutes brought the score to 72-69 thanks to Matteo Whelton three with 28 seconds left. Despite cutting the lead to three, CMU would convert all six free throw attempts in the closing seconds to clinch the road win.
Emory will look to rebound as it closes out the home weekend on Sunday with a matchup with No. 7 ranked Case Western Reserve at noon.