Nester Beats Buzzer to Lift WashU Past Carnegie Mellon

Photo by Danny Reise/WUSTL Photos
Photo by Danny Reise/WUSTL Photos

Pittsburgh, Pa., Feb. 1, 2019 – Junior guard Matt Nester went coast to coast and beat the buzzer to lift the Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team to an 87-85 win at Carnegie Mellon University Friday at Skibo Gymnasium in Pittsburgh.  

WashU won its sixth-straight game to improve to 13-6 and 6-2 in the University Athletic Association (UAA), while Carnegie Mellon suffered its fifth-straight loss and fell to 8-11 and 3-5 in the UAA. WashU remained in a three-way tie for first-place in the UAA standings.

Freshman forward Justin Hardy had 20 of his game-high 25 points in the second half, and hit a career-best four three-pointers. Sophomore guard Jack Nolan added 20 points and hit 6-of-6 free-throws, while Nester had 15 points and five assists. Junior guard Jonathan Arenas added 10 points and six rebounds.

WashU shot 54.2 percent (32-59) from the field and hit 10-of-16 from three-point range. The Bears outrebounded Carnegie 34-25, and had a 22-5 advantage in second-chance points.

WashU trailed 13-7 in the opening 5:10 of play as Carnegie Mellon hit three of its first six shots from three-point range. Seth Henry had seven early points for the Tartans. A three-pointer by freshman forward Kameron Mack and a three-point play by junior forward DeVaughn Rucker trimmed the CMU advantage to 20-18.

Carnegie Mellon went on a 6-0 run late in the first half to take a 36-27 with 3:09 left. A three-pointer from Hardy with 1:00 left trimmed the lead to four, but the Tartans took the 42-36 lead to the locker room.

WashU shot 43.8 percent (14-32) from the field in the first half, and hit 4-of-7 from three-point range. The Bears turned the ball over nine times which led to 13 points for the Tartans. Nester and Nolan led WashU with eight points apiece as WashU had a 14-3 advantage in second-chance points. 

Hardy's dunk tied the contest at 45-45, and then Nolan and Hardy canned threes to give the Bears a 55-50 lead with 13:54 to play and forced a timeout by CMU. Hardy drilled another three to make it 58-50, and then Rucker made 1-of-2 free-throws to cap the 12-0 run.

Nolan canned a three-pointer and then scored on a fast-break lay-up to make it 75-64. WashU led 80-72 with 3:56 left on a bucket by junior forward Hank Hunter, but Carnegie Mellon went on a 9-2 run to tie it at 82-82 with 59.6 second left.

Zach Howarth led CMU with 25 points, while Henry added 23. The Tartans shot 59.3 percent (32-54) from the field in the loss.

WashU takes on Case Western Reserve University (9-10, 2-6 UAA) on Sunday, Feb. 3, at Noon in Cleveland. 

BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU leads the all-time series with Carnegie Mellon 54-9, and the Bears have won eight-straight meetings … Nolan went over 600 points in his career … Nolan has made 26-straight free-throws ... WashU secured its 35th-straight winning season.