CHICAGO, Ill. – In the regular season finale, the University of Chicago men's basketball team lost to No. 3-ranked Washington University-St. Louis 86-73 on Saturday.
The Maroons finish with a 15-10 record overall and an 8-5 mark in conference. The Bears (23-2 overall, 14-0 UAA) will continue on to the NCAA Tournament as the automatic qualifier in the UAA.
It was Senior Day for the four UChicago seniors playing their final game at the Ratner Athletics Center – guard Derrick Davis, forward Sam Gage, forward Charlie Hughes and guard Wayne Simon. The foursome was recognized on the court right before tip-off.
Whistles were blown early and often for foul calls, including six on the Maroons in the first six minutes. Davis scored a layup in the paint to put UChicago ahead at 7-6. However, the Bears then went on 13-0 run to grab a lead they would hold for the rest of the game. Washington scored several times on back cuts for layups and ended up shooting 60.7 percent on field goals in the first half.
Sophomore guard Jordan Smith kept UChicago afloat on offense, backing down his defender or driving past for mid- and close-range jumpers. He tallied 13 points in the half on 5 of 7 shooting. Gage scored a bucket and one, which was followed by a rebound basket from Davis to trim the deficit to 40-28.
Washington led at the half 43-28 while making 4 of 7 from three-point range. Matt Palucki scored a team-high 14 points. UChicago was 0-for-6 from beyond the arc and struggled at the free throw line (6-for-12).
The visitors maintained their double-digit lead for the first eight minutes of the second half. Sophomore forward Nate Brooks brought the crowd to their feet with a steal and a breakaway slam dunk at 47-38. After a quiet first half, senior guard Wayne Simon came out firing with 16 points in the second half. His three-pointer brought the score to 56-46, and two free throws by Davis got the game to within eight points at 58-50.
Simon and Gage hit back-to-back threes at 64-56, forcing a timeout by Washington. But that was as close as the Maroons would get the rest of the way. The Bears built their advantage back up and controlled the final six minutes of the game.
Washington held sway on the boards, outrebounding UChicago 40-28. The Bears turned the ball over 15 times compared to nine turnovers by the Maroons.
UChicago Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 45.0 percent (27-60)
Three-point Percentage – 20.0 percent (3-15)
Free-throw Percentage – 69.6 percent (16-23)
Jordan Smith (Guard, So.) – 19 points
Wayne Simon (Guard, Sr.) – 18 points, 6 rebounds
Nate Brooks (Forward, So.) – 11 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals
Washington-St. Louis Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 51.7 percent (30-58)
Three-point Percentage – 50.0 percent (8-16)
Free-throw Percentage – 78.3 percent (18-23)
Matt Palucki – 26 points, 6 rebounds
Alan Aboona – 25 points, 8 assists
Chris Klimek – 15 points, 6 rebounds