UChicago men’s basketball defeats Emory 69-60

Jordan Smith and Sam Gage
Jordan Smith and Sam Gage

ATLANTA, Ga. – The University of Chicago men's basketball team made crucial three-pointers in the second half and muscled past Emory University 69-60 on Friday.

The Maroons improved their record to 11-6 overall and 4-2 in conference. The Eagles dropped to 12-5 overall and 4-2 in the UAA. Emory was held to its lowest point total of the season after entering the contest averaging 86.8 points per game.

The two teams exchanged buckets and played at a fast pace. Emory and UChicago combined to make 15 of the opening 22 shots for an impressive 68.2 percent clip. But both teams started to go cold offensively midway through the half and neither side scored for more than four minutes of game time. Emory hit several jumpers from long range to go up 30-22.

But the Maroons came up with the answer, closing the half with a 13-5 run. Sophomore forward Nate Brooks contributed five points and senior forward Sam Gage tallied four points in that stretch. Junior guard Royce Muskeyvalley stole the ball and cruised in for a layup to tie the game at 33-33. Brooks caught a pass behind Emory's zone defense and scored the easy lay-in to tie the game at 35-35, which was the score at halftime.

UChicago flexed its muscle in the post with a 22-17 rebounding edge, which included 10 offensive boards. Sophomore guard Jordan Smith stroked a pair of threes en route to eight points. Brooks and Gage scored seven points and six points, respectively. Both teams were sloppy with the ball and turned it over 21 times combined. Emory had more success from three-point range (6 of 12) while UChicago couldn't find its rhythm from outside (2 of 11).

Senior guard Derrick Davis netted the initial basket of the second half and Gage followed by sinking a three out of the corner to make the score 40-35 in favor of the visitors. Later, Davis would score on a put back and then hit a three-pointer to give UChicago its largest lead at 47-37.

The Maroons kept up its healthy rebounding advantage, but the offense dried up and scored only two points over a seven-minute span. The Eagles took advantage and almost pulled even at 49-48. A layup by Davis and another three-pointer from Smith snapped UChicago out of its funk to get back ahead 54-48. Gage also splashed a trey soon after to make the score 60-50.

Emory hung around and got back within striking distance at 63-60 with 1:51 left on the game clock. UChicago's woes at the free throw line kept the game close as the Maroons made only 4 of 14 from the line up to that point. But the Eagles ended up missing their final five shots and UChicago sunk 6 of 8 from the charity stripe to clinch the victory.

The two teams finished with 35 turnovers (19 by UChicago, 16 by Emory). The Maroons blocked six shots and kept its low-post advantage with a 44-35 rebounding edge. UChicago hit 5 of 10 threes in the second half and Smith led the way from deep by hitting 4 of 5 in the game.

UChicago Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal percentage – 44.1 percent (26-59)
Three-point percentage – 33.3 percent (7-21)
Free-throw percentage – 45.5 percent (10-22)
Jordan Smith (Guard, So.) – 17 points, 5 assists
Sam Gage (Forward, Sr.) – 14 points, 5 rebounds
Derrick Davis (Guard, Sr.) – 11 points, 6 rebounds

Emory Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal percentage – 37.1 percent (23-62)
Three-point percentage – 36.4 percent (8-22)
Free-throw percentage – 75.0 percent (6-8)
Jake Davis – 17 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals
McPherson Moore – 16 points, 7 rebounds

NEXT GAME:

  • Sunday, Feb. 2 – UChicago at University of Rochester, 2 PM (ET)