UChicago men's basketball shoots past Rochester 69-62

Jordan Smith and Derrick Davis
Jordan Smith and Derrick Davis

CHICAGO, Ill. – Nine three-pointers on the day made up for a poor free-throw shooting performance as the University of Chicago men's basketball team clinched a 69-62 victory against the University of Rochester on Sunday.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Maroons as they improved their record to 12-8 on the year and 5-4 in league play. The Yellowjackets remained winless on the road in the UAA as they fell to 8-12 overall and 2-7 against conference foes.

After a tight start that was knotted 5-5 in the first four minutes, UChicago took control midway through the opening stanza with 12 of their first 18 points coming from long range. Senior guard Derrick Davis put in a layup that forced a Rochester timeout with 9:10 left in the first half as the Maroons led 20-13.

While the Maroons held a first half edge in rebounds (21-14) and shooting percentage (45 percent to 37 percent), the Yellowjackets closed the gap to four with three UChicago starters having to sit due to foul trouble in the first frame. Rochester cashed in five points from the charity stripe before the break as the halftime score was 32-28 in favor of the maroon and white.

Freshman guard Mack Montague started the Yellowjackets in the second half with a couple of threes to get Rochester its first lead since the start of the first half. The lead would be short lived. Junior guard Royce Muskeyvalley made back-to-back steals and that led directly to a pair of fast break dunks by sophomore guard Jordan Smith. Smith scored nine-straight points to put the Maroons back in front by seven at 41-34.

Rochester whittled the lead down to one with 12 minutes to play, but UChicago answered back with an 11-0 run as the Maroons turned up the defensive pressure, forcing nine turnovers in the second half. The Maroons got two more dunks courtesy of sophomore forward Nate Brooks and Davis to push the lead to 54-42. The home team finished the game with five dunks total.

Rochester slowly worked their way back into it thanks to offensive rebounding and UChicago not taking advantage of their trips to the free throw line. Rochester sophomore guard Kyle Reardon's 3-pointer dropped the Maroon lead to three with three minutes left in the contest.

Maroon senior forward Sam Gage and Muskeyvalley netted back-to-back threes put the lead back to nine points at 65-56 with 90 seconds left. From there, the Maroons would hit enough charity tosses to put the game on ice.

The Maroons shared the ball with 14 assists on the day. They started the game shooting 2-for-11 from the free throw line en route to a 6-for-17 performance. The Yellowjackets held a 36-30 rebounding advantage and a 20-15 edge in bench points.

UChicago Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 52.9 percent (27-51)
Three-point Percentage – 45.0 percent (9-20)
Free-throw Percentage – 35.3 percent (6-17)
Jordan Smith (Guard, So.) – 15 points, 4 rebounds
Derrick Davis (Guard, Sr.) – 13 points, 7 rebounds
Royce Muskeyvalley (Guard, Jr.) – 10 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds

Rochester Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage - 40.0 percent (22-55)
Three-point Percentage – 33.3 percent (7-21)
Free-throw Percentage – 84.6 percent (11-13)
Mack Montague – 16 points, 6 rebounds
Kevin Sheehy – 11 points, 5 rebounds
Jared Seltzer – 10 points, 4 rebounds

NEXT GAME:

  • Friday, Feb. 14 – UChicago at New York University, 8 PM (ET)