Bench play spurs Maroon men's basketball to 72-53 victory at Kalamazoo

Jake Fenlon and Blaine Crawford
Jake Fenlon and Blaine Crawford

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The University of Chicago men's basketball team received 38 points from its non-starters, sparking the visitors to a 72-53 win at Kalamazoo College on Saturday.

The Maroons snapped a two-game skid and improved to 6-3 on the season. The Hornets fell to 4-3.

Host Kalamazoo led 9-5 early in the contest. Over the first eight minutes, the Hornets outrebounded the Maroons and had a 7-0 edge on second-chance points. UChicago tightened up from there. After a tie at 14-14, junior guard Scott Herlihy made a jumper, freshman forward Collin Barthel converted a layup and Herlihy came back again with a three-pointer.

The Maroons went ahead 22-16 and had success drawing fouls and earning trips to the free throw line. Sophomore forward Blaine Crawford made five of his six free throws in that time. Freshman guard Jake Fenlon sunk a trey to make the score 27-19, and sophomore forward Waller Perez hit a jumper and a free throw for a three-point play at 34-26.

UChicago went into halftime with a 35-26 advantage on 50 percent shooting from the field. The Maroon bench came through with 21 points in the half compared to three points by Kalamazoo's non-starters. Perez had seven points and Fenlon tallied six points at the break. The Hornets were held to 33.3 percent shooting from the field, including 2 of 12 on three-pointers.

After a sluggish offensive start in the second half, UChicago asserted itself again to build a double-digit advantage. Crawford hit two free throws and Fenlon made another three to push the score to 43-31. The freshman kept swishing jumpers and posted five-straight points to extend the lead to 48-37. Fenlon finished the game with a career-high 14 points and a quartet of three-pointers.

UChicago went on a 19-6 run, which was capped by a junior guard Jordan Smith's layup at 62-42. Sophomore guard Tyler Howard cut into the lane for a pair of layups and junior forward Nate Brooks threw down a dunk during that stretch of play.

The Maroons finished with a large edge in bench scoring (38-16) and held sway on the boards as well (37-30). Junior forward Alex Voss pulled down a game-high nine rebounds on the day. Turnovers were almost equivalent, with 13 by UChicago and 14 by Kalamazoo.

Crawford made eight of his nine free throws as UChicago shot 78.6 percent from the charity stripe – its second best mark of the season.

UChicago Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 46.8 percent (22-47)
Three-point Percentage – 28.6 percent (6-21)
Free-throw Percentage – 78.6 percent (22-28)
Jake Fenlon (Guard, Fr.) – 14 points
Tyler Howard (Guard, So.) – 12 points, 4 assists
Blaine Crawford (Forward, So.) – 10 points, 6 rebounds

Kalamazoo Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 34.5 percent (19-55)
Three-point Percentage – 26.3 percent (5-19)
Free-throw Percentage – 71.4 percent (10-14)
Mike Oravetz – 13 points, 4 rebounds
Adam Dykema – 12 points

NEXT GAME:

  • Wednesday, December 17 – North Park University at UChicago, 8 PM