CHICAGO, Ill. – Back on Jan. 24, University of Chicago junior guard Royce Muskeyvalley made a game-winning jumper with 1.4 seconds left to beat Carnegie Mellon University by one point. On Friday night, Muskeyvalley did it again, this time swishing a three-pointer with 1.9 seconds left in the game that gave the UChicago men's basketball team a 79-77 comeback win over Carnegie Mellon.
The Maroons improved to 14-9 overall and 7-5 in conference action. The Tartans dropped to 11-12 overall and 4-8 in the UAA.
The home team got off to an inauspicious start. Carnegie Mellon hummed away on offense while UChicago frequently ran the shot clock down to the end without getting a good look at the basket. The Tartans took an 18-6 lead through the opening eight minutes. CMU junior Seth Cordts had the hot hand early and scored 13 of the team's first 20 points.
Maroons senior guard Derrick Davis got the crowd cheering at 20-16 when he threw down a dunk while getting fouled and made the subsequent free throw. However, the Tartans got back on track with their fifth and sixth treys of the game to go back up 26-16. The visitors were beastly on the boards, which led to 13 second-chance points in the first 12 minutes.
At halftime, CMU was in control at 42-28 while making 56.7 percent of its field goals. The rebounding disparity was 21-8 in favor of the Tartans. Davis was the lone constant for the Maroons offensively with 11 points in the half.
The Maroons came out with renewed focus and energy in the second half and immediately started chipping away at the deficit. Davis scored a layup while getting fouled and made his free throw on the first possession. Muskeyvalley and Davis took over offensively, combining to score UChicago's first 15 points of the half.
Carnegie Mellon still held a 12-point advantage when a critical sequence put the Maroons on the comeback trail. Senior guard Wayne Simon drew a personal foul and then CMU was immediately whistled for a technical foul. Simon sunk all four free throws to kick start a 14-2 run that eventually tied the game at 57-57. Simon went on a rampage from there, driving the paint with abandon to score 10-straight points on his own.
Sophomore guard Jordan Smith wrapped up the run with a three-pointer from the left wing that rattled in while simultaneously drawing a foul on the defender. Smith sank the free throw to complete the rare four-point play.
Simon kept up his torrid streak by scoring six of eight UChicago points to give the home team a 67-66 lead. The two sides traded the lead several more times as the final minutes ticked away, and CMU went ahead 73-69 with 3:28 left to play. Sophomore forward Alex Voss then nailed a three-pointer and Muskeyvalley contributed four more points to put UChicago up 76-75.
CMU's Christian Manoli rolled hard to the paint and scored a jumper in close to give the advantage back to the visitors 77-76 with 28 seconds left. UChicago held the ball for the final shot and Muskeyvalley stepped into a trey from the top of the key in the closing seconds. The Tartans missed their final desperation heave at the buzzer.
It was Muskeyvalley's third game-winning jumper of the year, with two coming against Carnegie Mellon and one versus Whitman College. He also dished out a season-high eight assists on the night. Davis and Simon operated at peak efficiency and shot a combined 18 of 21 from the field (85.7 percent). The 22 points by Davis and the 20 points by Simon were both season bests for each player.
The Tartans maintained their rebounding edge 35-24, but lost the turnover category 16-9.
UChicago Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 52.5 percent (32-61)
Three-point Percentage – 26.7 percent (4-15)
Free-throw Percentage – 84.6 percent (11-13)
Derrick Davis (Guard, Sr.) – 22 points, 4 rebounds
Wayne Simon (Guard, Sr.) – 20 points
Royce Muskeyvalley (Guard, Jr.) – 17 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds
Carnegie Mellon Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 50.9 percent (28-55)
Three-point Percentage – 40.0 percent (10-25)
Free-throw Percentage – 78.6 percent (11-14)
Seth Cordts – 26 points
Christian Manoli – 19 points, 5 rebounds
Jack Serbin – 13 points, 11 rebounds
- Sunday, Feb. 23 – Case Western Reserve University at UChicago, 12 PM