Maroon men's basketball beats Beloit 82-63 in home opener

Waller Perez
Waller Perez

CHICAGO, Ill. – In its first home game of the year at the Ratner Athletics Center, the University of Chicago men's basketball team jumped out to a big lead and cruised to an 82-63 victory over Beloit College on Saturday.

The No. 23-ranked Maroons improved to 4-1 and the Bucs evened their record at 2-2.

UChicago came out fast from opening tip, drawing a foul in the lane in the first three seconds of the game. The Maroons made five of seven field goals to start hot and eventually opened up a 20-4 lead. Sophomore forward Waller Perez had six points in the run, while juniors Jordan Smith and Alex Voss tallied five points apiece.

From that point on, UChicago's lead never dipped below double digits. The home team aggressively attacked the paint, drew contact and wore a path to the free throw line. The Maroons made 15 of 17 free throws in the first half and took a 42-25 lead into the locker room at halftime. Perez led the way with 11 points. Sophomore forward Blaine Crawford made his presence felt down low with 10 points and seven rebounds in 14 minutes.

Play evened up more in the second half, with 40 points by the Maroons and 38 for the Bucs. The UChicago defense kept tight watch on Beloit's leading scorer Steve McAfee, who was limited to 3 of 15 shooting from the field.

The free throws continued to fall for the home side. UChicago made 31 of 38 in the game (81.6 percent) after entering the day shooting only 51.6 percent from the charity stripe. The Maroons also dominated on the boards, 41-30. However, UChicago turned the ball over 18 times compared to 12 turnovers by the visitors.

Perez netted 11 of 13 free throws himself en route to a career-best 25 points. Smith came on strong in the second half to net 17 points. Sophomore guard Tyler Howard racked up seven more assists and is currently averaging 5.4 per game.

UChicago Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 48.9 percent (23-47)
Three-point Percentage – 33.3 percent (5-15)
Free-throw Percentage – 81.6 percent (31-38)
Waller Perez (Forward, So.) – 25 points, 5 rebounds
Tyler Howard (Guard, So.) – 13 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds
Jordan Smith (Guard, Jr.) – 17 points
Alex Voss (Forward, Jr. ) – 12 points, 5 rebounds
Blaine Crawford (Forward, So.) – 10 points, 7 rebounds

Beloit Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 38.3 percent (23-60)
Three-point Percentage – 20.0 percent (4-20)
Free-throw Percentage – 59.1 percent (13-22)
Rudy Bentley – 14 points, 4 assists, 3 steals
Michael Gulve – 14 points

NEXT GAME:

  • Sunday, November 30 – Bethany (W.Va.) College at UChicago, 3 PM