Defense leads UChicago men's basketball to 58-50 victory over NYU

Charlie Hughes and Royce Muskeyvalley
Charlie Hughes and Royce Muskeyvalley

CHICAGO, Ill. – The University of Chicago men's basketball team put together an impressive defensive effort in a 58-50 win over New York University in its University Athletic Association (UAA) home opener on Friday. It marked the lowest scoring output by a Maroons opponent since their 64-49 win over Trinity University (Texas) on Nov. 18, 2012.

The Maroons moved their record to 8-5 overall on the year and 1-1 in UAA play. The Violets (11-2 overall, 1-1 UAA) had their five-game win streak snapped and have now lost three-straight games to UChicago.

It was a defensive battle the whole way as the Violets only shot 32.1 percent from the field and the Maroons shot 36.4 percent for the night. NYU came into the game ranked No. 2 in NCAA Division III in field-goal percentage defense at 35.5 percent. The Violets also pace the nation in rebounding margin at +13.6 per game, but were effectively neutralized as they only led UChicago 41-39 in that category.

Both teams struggled early to find an offensive rhythm. The game remained a low-scoring affair throughout as both defenses ruled the first half and prevented the opposing offenses from getting a clean look at the basket. At one point late in the first half, the two teams combined to shoot 12 of 51 from the field (23.5 percent).

Senior forward Sam Gage's three-pointer with 7:23 left in the half gave the Maroons the first multiple-possession lead of the night at 15-11. UChicago inched the advantage up to a halftime tally of 24-18, with seven points from senior forward Charlie Hughes and five points from Gage. Despite the low scores, NYU had only six turnovers compared to UChicago's three turnovers.

Hughes nailed a three-pointer with 17:15 left in the second half to force an NYU timeout and push the UChicago lead to 13 points. The Violets slowly put together a 20-4 run to go up 38-35 with 10:55 left. Baskets were traded until sophomore guard Jordan Smith hit a jumper to push the Maroon lead back to four with 6:40 left.

Clinging to a 44-41 advantage, guard Royce Muskeyvalley took over. The junior scored six points by cutting through the defense to kick start a decisive 11-2 run. Smith splashed down a three-pointer to make the score 55-43 and UChicago kept NYU at bay the rest of the way.

Despite facing a size disadvantage in the post, the Maroons worked hard on the block all night to keep the Violets from getting easy points. The effort paid dividends as the hosts actually led points in the paint 22 to 10. UChicago was able to capitalize for 13 points off turnovers compared to NYU's six points.

UChicago Team Stats and Leaders
Field Goal Percentage – 36.4 percent (20-55)
Three-Point Percentage – 20.0 percent (4-20)|
Free Throw Percentage – 73.7 percent (14-19)
Charlie Hughes (Forward, Sr.) – 15 points, 5 rebounds
Royce Muskeyvalley (Guard, Jr.) – 12 points, 4 assists
Sam Gage (Forward, Sr.) – 9 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals
Jordan Smith (Guard, So.) – 9 points, 4 rebounds

NYU Team Stats and Leaders
Field Goal Percentage – 32.1 percent (18-56)
Three-Point Percentage – 28.6 percent (6-21)
Free Throw Percentage – 61.5 percent (8-13)
Iyoha Agho – 16 points
Ryan Tana – 9 points, 4 rebounds
Evan Kupferberg – 6 points, 10 rebounds



  • Sunday, Jan. 19 – Brandeis University at UChicago, Noon