Maroons men’s basketball defeats Brandeis 85-75

Royce Muskeyvalley, Jordan Smith and Wayne Simon
Royce Muskeyvalley, Jordan Smith and Wayne Simon

CHICAGO, Ill. – An offensive boost from the bench corps helped push the University of Chicago men's basketball team past Brandeis University 85-75 on Sunday.

The Maroons improved their record to 9-5 overall and 2-1 in the UAA. The Judges fell to 8-6 overall, 0-3 in conference.

The game got off to a slow, deliberate start. UChicago got after the offensive boards and scored several put-backs to grab the early advantage. A three-pointer by sophomore forward Eric Robinson from the top of arc gave the home team a 15-8 lead.

Brandeis started to aggressively attack the rim and threw a full-court trap at UChicago. The Judges rallied back to take a one-point lead at 20-19. However, the Maroons picked up the pace as the half went on and scored on four-straight possessions to go up 35-27. Senior guard Wayne Simon bracketed a pair of three-pointers around an emphatic dunk by sophomore forward Nate Brooks in that run.

A driving layup by junior guard Royce Muskeyvalley with five seconds left put the Maroons ahead 39-31 at halftime. Both teams were efficient offensively, as UChicago shot 51.7 percent from the field and Brandeis made 50.0 percent of its attempts. Simon tallied a team-high eight points in the half and the Maroons led the rebounds 19-12. The backups were productive with 19 of the home team's 39 points.

In the second half, Brandeis pushed hard after made baskets and caught UChicago flatfooted several times defensively. The Judges would then draw fouls in the post and get to the free throw line.

UChicago sophomore guard John Steinberg canned a three in transition to push the lead back to 10 points. Then Simon produced a five-point possession to make the score 60-45. The senior hit a jumper from the top of the key and was fouled to set up a three-point play. He missed the free throw, but sophomore forward Alex Voss came storming through the lane to get the offensive rebound. The ball came back to Simon, who drove to the hoop, was fouled again on the layup and swished the free throw.

Voss kept up the energy off the bench, grabbing several big rebounds and drawing fouls. He finished with 12 points, six rebounds and three assists in 24 minutes. UChicago kept driving at the hoop and getting results. Sophomore guard Jordan Smith rebounded his own miss and scored up close to make the score 70-60. In the final minutes, the Maroons kept making trips to the charity stripe and kept their distance from Brandeis the rest of the way.

UChicago's bench scored 42 of the team's 85 points in the game, led by Simon's 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting. The Maroons won the battle on the boards 35-28 and converted 19 second-chance points compared to only seven by Brandeis.

UChicago Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal percentage – 52.8 percent (28-53)
Three-point percentage – 35.7 percent (5-14)
Free-throw percentage – 60.0 percent (24-40)
Royce Muskeyvalley (Guard, Jr.) – 18 points
Wayne Simon (Guard, Sr.) – 13 points
Jordan Smith (Guard, So.) – 13 points
Alex Voss (Forward, So.) – 12 points, 6 rebounds

Brandeis Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal percentage – 50.0 percent (28-56)
Three-point percentage – 30.0 percent (6-20)
Free-throw percentage – 72.2 percent (13-18)
Derek Retos – 12 points
Ishmael Kalilou – 11 points
Gabriel Moton – 10 points, 7 rebounds

NEXT GAME:

  • Friday, Jan. 24 – UChicago at Carnegie Mellon University, 8 PM (ET)