CHICAGO, Ill. – In a tight defensive battle, the No. 17-ranked University of Chicago men's basketball team came out on the losing end 62-51 against Wheaton College on Wednesday.
The Maroons fell to 5-2 while the Thunder improved to 4-2 on the season.
UChicago junior guard Jordan Smith tied the action up early on at 9-9 with a three-pointer and a layup on consecutive possessions. Wheaton regained the lead 15-11, but the momentum see-sawed back to the home side. Junior forward Nate Brooks got things going with a dunk, and a pair of threes soon put the Maroons in front. Sophomore forward Waller Perez converted his layup to make the score 21-17.
But it was Wheaton who took over the final six minutes before halftime. The Thunder hit key three-pointers and scored a put-back layup as time expired to take a 30-23 lead. Both teams played physical, tight defense with lots of contact across the court. UChicago owned the athleticism advantage in the post and led the rebounding total 22-17 in the initial 20 minutes. Smith paced the offense with 10 points.
Perez kick started an 8-0 run to start the second half, scoring in close on the first play and then converting two of three free throws after being fouled on a three-point attempt. UChicago gained the lead 31-30 at that point.
A three-pointer from Perez gave the Maroons a 42-40 lead midway through the second half. It was nip and tuck for the next six minutes as each team answered the other's scoring plays. However, Wheaton steadily built its lead and sank its free throws down the stretch. UChicago was held without a field goal over the final six minutes of the game.
Both teams were limited to less than 40 percent shooting from the field in the game. The Maroons held the rebounding advantage 38-34. Wheaton had the better of the turnover category, committing seven compared to UChicago's 14.
UChicago Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 36.7 percent (18-49)
Three-point Percentage – 27.8 percent (5-18)
Free-throw Percentage – 52.6 percent (10-19)
Waller Perez (Forward, So.) – 17 points, 6 rebounds
Nate Brooks (Forward, Jr.) – 11 points, 9 rebounds
Jordan Smith (Guard, Jr.) – 12 points, 4 rebounds
Wheaton Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 38.9 percent (21-54)
Three-point Percentage – 26.3 percent (5-19)
Free-throw Percentage – 78.9 percent (15-19)
Brayden Teuscher – 16 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists
Caleb DeMoss – 13 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists
Luis Miller – 12 points, 4 rebounds
- Saturday, December 6 – UChicago at Illinois Wesleyan University, 3 PM