CHICAGO, Ill. – The University of Chicago men's basketball team kept up its scorching offensive pace with a season-high 14 three-pointers in a 100-83 victory over Kalamazoo College on Sunday.
The Maroons improved to 4-2 and dealt the Hornets (3-1) their first loss of the season. UChicago has scored at least 80 points five times this year and is averaging 93.8 points per game since the season opener. The Maroons have now made 53 of their last 115 shots from three-point range (46.1 percent).
From the game's onset, the home team flexed its muscle in the post and rebounded at an impressive rate to keep possessions alive after misses. Junior guard Royce Muskeyvalley scored a layup and drew the foul to tie the score at 5-5, and a three-pointer by sophomore guard Jordan Smith gave the Maroons a lead they wouldn't relinquish for the rest of the game.
Both teams played at a fast pace and got plenty of looks at the basket. UChicago scored down low with both guards and forwards. Senior guard Derrick Davis came off the bench to score seven of UChicago's first 20 points of the game, using his athleticism to bull into the paint and finish. The Maroons got hot from deep and netted three treys in-a-row to extend the lead to 35-23. The hosts found success by driving the middle of the defense and drawing the undersized defenders into the post. They then kicked out to waiting shooters in the corners who knocked down shot after shot – many of which were uncontested.
Kalamazoo stayed within shouting distance thanks to guard Mark Ghafari. Despite plenty of defensive attention and some double teams, the senior kept hitting difficult shots from all over the floor en route to scoring 24 points in the first half. UChicago went into halftime with a 53-45 lead thanks to 56.8 percent shooting from the field and 43.8 percent shooting on three-pointers (7-16). Senior forward Charlie Hughes was an early catalyst with 11 points, Davis posted 10 points and Smith hit a trio from long range to tally nine points.
The Maroons came out firing after the break and quickly went on a 14-2 run in the first three minutes of the new half. Five three-pointers in the first four minutes gave the home team a commanding lead that did not drop below double figures the rest of the way. Hughes and Smith rained down threes from the corners and Muskeyvalley was the frequent distributor with seven assists on the day.
Senior forward Sam Gage was beastly on the boards with a season-best 15 rebounds in 23 minutes of action. UChicago ended up with a 48-41 rebounding advantage in the game and also dished out 22 assists compared to only eight turnovers.
UChicago Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal percentage – 51.9 percent (40-77)
Three-point percentage – 43.8 percent (14-32)
Free-throw percentage – 37.5 percent (6-16)
Charlie Hughes (Forward, Sr.) – 20 points, 5 rebounds
Jordan Smith (Guard, So.) – 15 points (5-7 on three-pointers)
Derrick Davis (Guard, Sr.) – 14 points
Royce Muskeyvalley (Guard, Jr.) – 10 points, 7 assists
Sam Gage (Forward, Sr.) – 6 points, 15 rebounds
Kalamazoo Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal percentage – 42.0 percent (29-69)
Three-point percentage – 30.4 percent (7-23)
Free-throw percentage – 66.7 percent (18-27)
Mark Ghafari – 29 points
Adam Peters – 17 points, 6 rebounds
- Wednesday, Dec. 4 – UChicago at Wheaton College, 7:30 PM