ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Led by a season's high 38 points from Player of the Year candidate John DiBartolomeo, the University of Rochester clinched at least a share of the University Athletic Association men's title with an 81-77 victory over Carnegie Mellon University at the Louis Alexander Palestra on Friday evening.
Rochester improved to 21-2 overall, 10-2 in the UAA. The Yelllowjackets are two games ahead of Washington (8-4), Brandeis (8-4), and Emory (8-4) with two games left to play. Washington lost at NYU, 86-82, tonight. Washington plays at Brandeis on Sunday. Emory hosts Carnegie Mellon on Sunday.
The Yellowjackets can win the UAA title outright – and with it an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs – when they host Case Western Reserve on Sunday at 12 pm. It will be Senior Day with the three seniors – DiBartolomeo, Rob Reid, and Dan Shapiro – honored in pre-game ceremonies.
Reid scored 12 points against Carnegie Mellon and Tyler Sankes added 11, including seven of eight from the foul line. DiBartolomeo had seven rebounds, six assists, one block, and five steals to go with his 38 points. He played all 40 minutes.
Carnegie Mellon is 5-18 overall, 2-10 in the UAA. The Tartans had four men in doubnle figures. Asad Meghani scored 17, including five three-point goals. Andre Moore had 16 points and six assists. Rashaun Riley scored 15, and Rob Mohen had 14.
The game was tight throughout. DiBartolomeo sank a three-pointer with six seconds left in the first half to give Rochester a 40-37 lead at intermission. CMU fought back and went ahead by three, 60-57, on Meghani's three pointer with 9:30 left. Rochester used a 14-4 run over six minutes to take the largest lead for either team, 71-64, with 3:22 left. DiBartolomeo scored eight of the 14 points and Reid had four.
CMU trimmed the lead to three points twice and finally to two points, 77-75, when Riley sank a three-pointer from the wing with 22 seconds left. DiBartolomeo sank four free throws in a six-second span to stretch the lead to six with 12 seconds remaining.
otes: DiBartolomeo scored 37 points on opening night against the Merchant Marine Academy. His career high is 40, scored on Senior Day vs. Emory last year… This was his fifth 30+-point effort of the season, his first since scoring 36 against Brandeis at the Palestra on January 27… DiBartolomeo raised his career point total to 1,711. He is fourth all-time at Rochester, two points shy of catching Seth Hauben (2001-05, 1,713 points) for third place…. His six assists boost his career total to 517, leading him two assists shy of matching Randie Torgalski (1995-99, 519 assists) for second place…. The victory was Rochester's 22nd straight UAA homecourt win and its 35th consecutive regular-season victory.