CHICAGO, Ill. – After a rough start on offense, the University of Chicago men's basketball team regained its footing and leaned on the duo of Royce Muskeyvalley and Charlie Hughes to defeat Washington & Lee University 86-74 on Saturday.
The Maroons improved to 7-4 on the season and the Generals fell to 4-7.
UChicago's offense sputtered out of the gate by clanking its first nine shots of the game. Despite the multitude of misses, the home team was only down 6-5 when the starters headed to the bench. The second unit provided the necessary spark by embarking on an 11-3 run. Sophomore forward Alex Voss nailed a three-pointer and tallied another three points on a layup and foul to make the score 16-9 in favor of the Maroons.
Washington & Lee answered right back with a run of its own to tie the game at 16-16. On the next possession, Muskeyvalley cut to the middle of the lane, drew contact and banked in a floater to start a three-point play. The junior point guard had the hot hand throughout the half, scoring 14 points in 15 minutes of action. Hughes added his scoring touch with a trio of treys from outside in his 16 minutes.
Drew Kimberly proved problematic for UChicago's defenders. The 6-foot-8 center scored 12 points in the post, including a dunk that tied the score 24-24. Maroons senior guard Wayne Simon finished a nifty scoop layup and netted a free throw to complete his three-point play to put the home team up 34-31. The two teams kept exchanging jumpers for the rest of the half, and a pair of layups by Muskeyvalley and a three by Hughes pulled UChicago within 42-41 at halftime. Washington & Lee hit 57.1 percent from the field in the opening stanza compared to 41.7 percent by the Maroons.
The Generals kept their hot shooting rolling, reaching 60 percent shooting on field goals six minutes into the second half. Muskeyvalley and sophomore guard Jordan Smith scored a pair of layups to make the score 47-44. Sophomore forward Nate Brooks threw down a two-handed dunk off an in-bounds pass to put the home team up again at 49-47.
The basket exchanging continued unabated until the nine-minute mark. With the score tied at 65-65, UChicago made its move. Three-pointers by Hughes and sophomore guard John Steinberg staked the team to a 72-65 lead. Washington & Lee hit a three of its own to get within 73-70. But the Maroons started to get stops defensively and limited the Generals to only four points over the final six minutes of the game. UChicago proceeded to convert seven of its final eight free throws to clinch the victory.
The home team won the rebounding battle 33-29, including a 13-4 advantage on the offensive glass. The Maroons made 11 three-pointers, reaching double digits in that stat column for the sixth time this year.
UChicago Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal percentage – 47.6 percent (30-63)
Three-point percentage – 36.7 percent (11-30)
Free-throw percentage – 68.2 percent (15-22)
Royce Muskeyvalley (Guard, Jr.) – 22 points, 5 assists
Charlie Hughes (Forward, Sr.) – 17 points
Alex Voss (Forward, So.) – 9 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists
Washington & Lee Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal percentage – 54.9 percent (28-51)
Three-point percentage – 58.3 percent (7-12)
Free-throw percentage – 84.6 percent (11-13)
Jim Etling – 15 points
Drew Kimberly – 12 points, 6 rebounds
Andrew Franz – 12 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists
- Saturday, Jan. 11 – UChicago at Washington University in St. Louis, 3 PM