KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Alex Pyper scored a career-high 32 points to rally the University of Chicago men's basketball team past Kalamazoo College 76-73 on Saturday.
The Maroons stopped its two-game skid to improve to 4-2 on the season. The Hornets evened their record at 2-2.
Kalamazoo raced out to an 11-2 lead that eventually grew to 34-17. Three-point shooting was the key, as the Hornets hit seven of their first eight shots from long range. UChicago cut the deficit down to 39-29 at halftime thanks to a 22-14 rebounding advantage, which included 12 offensive rebounds. Kalamazoo shot 59 percent from the field while the Maroons were only shooting 32 percent.
After scoring 13 points in the first half, Pyper carried the UChicago offense again in the second half. The sophomore forward scored 19 more points and was deadly from beyond the arc, hitting 7 of 14 in the game. The Maroons came within four to five points several times. But the Hornets responded each time, hitting a pair of threes to go up 60-50.
Two buckets by Nate Brooks and another trey by Pyper drew UChicago within one point at 60-59. Pyper's three free throws gave the Maroons their first lead of the game with 3:34 left in the game. After struggling with free throws throughout the game, UChicago made its final 11 free throws to clinch the victory down the stretch.
The Maroons shot 27 of 59 (45.8 percent) from the field, 9 of 22 from three-point range (40.9 percent), and 13 of 21 on free throws (61.9 percent). UChicago collected 19 offensive rebounds and held a 36-26 edge on the boards.
Kalamazoo shot 26 of 52 (50 percent) overall from the field, 12 of 22 from beyond the arc (54.5 percent), and 9 of 14 from the charity stripe (64.3 percent).
Kalamazoo Stat Leaders
Mark Ghafari - 28 points, 5 three-pointers, 5 assists, 4 rebounds
Carter Goertz - 9 points
Keith Garber - 8 points
NEXT GAME: Saturday, Dec. 8 - UChicago at Lake Forest College, 3 PM.