CHICAGO, Ill. -- Freshmen scoring and veteran rebounding combined to give the University of Chicago men's basketball team a 64-49 victory over Trinity University (Texas) in the UAA/SCAC Challenge on Sunday.
The Maroons improved to 3-0 while the Tigers fell to 0-2.
After falling behind early 7-2, UChicago regrouped and found its energy on both ends of the floor. The Maroons scored nine-straight points to gain the lead and then made another big 12-1 run near the end of the period. Three-point shooting was key, as the hosts hit 5 of 10 from long distance in the half. Freshman Jordan Smith made 3 of 4 treys and had 11 points in his first 15 minutes.
UChicago went into halftime with a 29-16 lead. But Trinity came out of the break firing from three-point range, eventually clawing back to tie the game at 45-45 midway through the second half. Both teams were playing fast and loose, looking to swing the ball around for open three-pointers on the perimeter.
With momentum clearly on the visiting side, the Maroons got back to executing offensively. Junior forward Charlie Hughes scored a three-point play in the lane, followed by a three-pointer from freshman guard John Steinberg. Steinberg ended up with a career-high 11 points and a trio of treys to his credit.
Two free throws and a silky step-back jumper by sophomore guard Adam Butterfield gave the Maroons some breathing room to put them up 55-47 with 3:44 remaining in the game. From there, they wore a path to the free throw line and claimed their third victory of the season.
Solid defense and rebounding proved crucial down the stretch. After the 45-45 tie, Trinity was held to 2 of 11 shooting from the field over the final nine minutes of regulation. UChicago also finished the game with a 40-28 rebounding edge, which included 15 offensive rebounds.
Both teams found success all night from beyond the arc - UChicago shot 7 of 15 and Trinity hit 7 of 14 from deep. The Maroons had a big advantage at the charity stripe (17 of 27) compared to the Tigers (6 of 15).
Chicago Stat Leaders
Jordan Smith - 17 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists
John Steinberg - 11 points (3 of 4 on three-pointers)
Wayne Simon - 9 points
Matt MacKenzie - 4 points, 9 rebounds
Nate Brooks - 4 points, 7 rebounds
Trinity Stat Leaders
Joe Shotland - 12 points
Heath Hopson - 11 points
John Boxberger - 11 points, 2 blocks
NEXT GAME: Saturday, Nov. 24 - Augustana College at UChicago, 3 PM.