CHICAGO, Ill. -- The University of Rochester wore a path to the free throw line in the final minutes to outlast the University of Chicago men's basketball team 68-57 on Friday.
The Maroons fell to 10-11 overall and 4-6 in conference action. The No. 4-ranked Yellowjackets improved their record to 20-1, 9-1 in the UAA.
From the game's onset, UChicago tailored its defense to contain Rochester point guard John DiBartolomeo (23.0 points per game this season). When high screens occurred at the top of the key, the Maroons closed quickly and aggressively with their post players, pushed the guards far past the three-point line, and then recovered back to the paint. The result was a lack of offensive flow for the Yellowjackets and a 14-6 lead for the hosts seven minutes into the game.
Despite running into quality defense that ate up much of the shot clock, Rochester got into a groove with pull-up jumpers in the lane and soon tied the score at 14-14. The visitors kept swinging the ball from one side of the court to the other in order to get open threes from the corners. Back-to-back treys by Kevin Sheehy gave Rochester a 20-18 lead with six minutes left in the half.
A Charlie Hughes jumper got UChicago back in front 22-21 and Sam Gage snuck into the paint to score a pair of layups in the final minute to give the Maroons a 29-26 edge at halftime. Hughes and Ian Joyce tallied seven points each in the opening stanza. UChicago held a 21-16 edge on the boards.
In the second half, Rochester continued to convert corner threes. But point guard Royce Muskeyvalley kept the home team on top by scoring six-straight points to make the score 37-34. A three-pointer by Hughes extended the lead to 42-36 with 13 minutes remaining in regulation.
The Yellowjackets retook the lead at 47-45 by going hard at the rim and converting a series of four layups. The two sides went back and forth with alternating scores until 6-foot-8 center Rob Reid had his own six-point run in the paint to push Rochester ahead 58-52.
The second half featured plenty of whistles and free throws. After attempting six free throws in the first half, Rochester took 26 foul shots in the second half and converted 20 of them. The Maroons were 5-for-11 at the line in the second half. The Yellowjackets held onto the ball, salted the clock away and hit 10 of 11 free throws in the game's final three minutes to get the win.
The rebounding column ended up even at 37-37. UChicago committed nine turnovers while Rochester limited its miscues to five.
UChicago Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal percentage - 40.7 percent (22-54)
Three-point percentage - 27.3 percent (3-11)
Free-throw percentage - 55.6 percent (10-18)
Royce Muskeyvalley - 18 points, 3 rebounds
Charlie Hughes - 11 points, 7 rebounds
Ian Joyce - 9 points, 3 rebounds
Rochester Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal percentage - 40.0 percent (20-50)
Three-point percentage - 33.3 percent (6-18)
Free-throw percentage - 68.8 percent (22-32)
Kevin Sheehy - 20 points
Tyler Seidman - 16 points (4-8 3-PT FG)
Tyler Sankes - 10 points, 7 rebounds
NEXT GAME: Sunday, Feb. 10 - Emory University at UChicago, Noon.