UChicago men's basketball wins season opener 81-52 over Maranatha

CHICAGO, Ill. -- The University of Chicago men's basketball team started the 2012-13 season with a bang, as the Maroons jumped out to a big first-half lead and defeated Maranatha Baptist Bible College 81-52 on Thursday.

The Maroons (1-0) came out with the hot shooting hands on offense, hitting four of their first five shots. UChicago's energetic effort on defense kept Maranatha (0-1) out of the lane and forced a bevy of long three-pointers that mostly drew iron. Through the first 11 minutes, the Maroons controlled every facet of the game and raced to a 24-3 lead.

UChicago shot 51.4 percent from the field in the first half and went into halftime with a 38-18 advantage. The balanced scoring effort featured eight points from Charlie Hughes, seven points from Sam Gage, and six points each from Jordan Smith and Wayne Simon.

Meanwhile, the Crusaders couldn't find their range on jumpers, hitting only 21.4 percent from the field and 9.1 percent from three-point range (1-for-11) in the first half.

The hosts subbed liberally throughout the game. Eleven team members played at least 10 minutes in the game and reached the points column as well.

Maranatha was more efficient on offense in the second half as three-pointers started to fall through the net. The visitors shot 51.9 percent from the field in the second half, but UChicago used its impressive athleticism to push the lead to 33 points on several occasions.

The Maroons filled up the stat sheet across the board. UChicago shot 50.7 percent for the game (35 of 69), swiped 13 steals, blocked five shots and won the rebounding battle 46-29.

Chicago Stat Leaders
Jordan Smith - 15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals
Charlie Hughes - 13 points, 4 rebounds
Wayne Simon - 10 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
Royce Muskeyvalley - 8 points, 7 assists, 5 steals
Sam Gage - 9 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks

Maranatha Stat Leaders
Brett Cashner - 18 points, 5 rebounds
Andrew McKinney - 14 points
Joel Borchardt - 4 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks

NEXT GAME: Saturday, Nov. 17 - Southwestern (Texas) University at UChicago, 4 PM.