CLEVELAND, Ohio – In a battle between the conference co-leaders, the University of Chicago men's basketball team withstood a late rally to top Case Western Reserve University 79-73 on Friday.
The Maroons (14-5 overall, 6-2 UAA) are now in sole possession of the top spot in the University Athletic Association. The Spartans (14-5, 5-3 UAA) are tied for second place with Emory University.
A pair of layups from sophomore forward Waller Perez put UChicago ahead 4-3. The visitors did not relinquish the lead for the rest of the night. A 10-2 run included a pair of three-pointers and the Maroons led 12-5. Back-to-back threes by junior guard Jordan Smith and Perez made the score 19-10.
UChicago led by as many as 12 points in the first half thanks to hot shooting. The Maroons made 8 of 14 three-pointers, with junior forward Alex Voss netting all three of his attempts. Smith drew fouls and headed to the line for eight free-throw attempts in the half.
At halftime, the Maroons led 47-40 and shot 55.2 percent from the field. Smith tallied 13 points, Voss had 11 points and sophomore guard Tyler Howard added 10 points. Case shot 44.4 percent on field goals in the half.
The visitors maintained control for much of the second half. Junior forward Nate Brooks gave the team its biggest lead with a pair of layups at 67-52. However, the Spartans hung around and made their move in the final three minutes.
Trailing 75-67, Case got six-straight points from Eric Black, which included two dunks. The home side got the ball back down only two points with 33 seconds remaining in the game. But Voss came up big with a steal and was immediately fouled with 12 seconds on the clock. The junior split the two free throws and Case missed a layup on the other end. UChicago then converted three free throws in the final three seconds to clinch the victory.
Voss tallied a career-best 22 points and made 5 of 8 from three-point range. Over his last three games, he has shot 60 percent from beyond the arc (15 of 25). Smith and Howard scored 14 points each, with Howard contributing four steals defensively.
After the hot first half, UChicago shot 33.3 percent in the second half. The team ended up with a 43-37 rebounding lead and turned the ball over 13 times compared to 11 turnovers by Case.
UChicago Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 44.1 percent (26-59)
Three-point Percentage – 39.3 percent (11-28)
Free-throw Percentage – 51.6 percent (16-31)
Alex Voss (Forward, Jr.) – 22 points, 7 rebounds
Tyler Howard (Guard, So.) – 14 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals
Jordan Smith (Guard, Jr.) – 14 points
Case Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 42.2 percent (27-64)
Three-point Percentage – 21.4 percent (3-14)
Free-throw Percentage – 72.7 percent (16-22)
Jimmy Holman – 18 points, 8 assists
Eric Black – 14 points, 7 rebounds
- Sunday, February 8 – UChicago at Carnegie Mellon University, 12 PM (ET)