UChicago men's basketball rally falls short at Emory, 85-82

Jordan Smith and Waller Perez
Jordan Smith and Waller Perez

ATLANTA, Ga. – Despite another career-best performance from Jordan Smith, the University of Chicago men's basketball team narrowly lost at Emory University 85-82 on Sunday.

The Maroons fell to 15-7 overall and 7-4 in the University Athletic Association (UAA). The Eagles improved to 17-5 overall and 7-4 in league action.

Two days earlier, Smith scored a career-high 29 points in a win over University of Rochester. The junior guard had the hot hand again on Sunday, pouring in 30 points on 10 of 20 shooting from the field. He started off with 12 points in the first half versus Emory.

After UChicago took a brief 9-6 lead, Emory scored six-straight points. Back-to-back three-pointers from junior forward Alex Voss later tied the game at 17-17. Sophomore forward Waller Perez and Smith combined to score the next 11 Maroon points.

The Eagles started to pull away at various points in the first half, only for the Maroons to draw themselves back closer. Smith threw down a dunk with 71 seconds left in the half, and Emory followed up with a three-point play to go up 42-37 at halftime. Smith and Perez tallied 12 points each, with Perez grabbing eight rebounds. Emory made half its shots in the first half, while UChicago shot 46.9 percent on field goals and led the rebounding 20-13.

Smith opened the second half by sinking a pair of treys. Two Perez free throws tied the score at 51-51, and a three-pointer from sophomore guard Tyler Howard drew the Maroons to within five points at 61-56. However, the Eagles made a big move and went on a 20-4 run over the course of the next five minutes.

Emory held its biggest margin of the day at 81-60 and looked to have the game in hand. But it was UChicago that then caught fire and only allowed four points over the final 7:40 of game time. Junior forward Nate Brooks kick-started the rally with seven-straight points, followed by five points in-a-row by Smith.

The Maroons got within six points after a three-pointer from Voss at 85-79. But the visitors ran out of time and finished the game with a Smith trey with one second left in the game.

UChicago owned the glass, holding a 44-28 rebounding advantage overall. Perez recorded a double-double with a career-high 14 rebounds to go with 19 points. Emory's defense helped spark its offense as the Eagles forced 17 turnovers and led the fast-break points category 22-5.

UChicago Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 46.2 percent (30-65)
Three-point Percentage – 33.3 percent (9-27)
Free-throw Percentage – 68.4 percent (13-19)
Jordan Smith (Guard, Jr.) – 30 points
Waller Perez (Forward, So.) – 19 points, 14 rebounds
Alex Voss (Forward, Jr.) – 16 points

Emory Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 50.8 percent (31-61)
Three-point Percentage – 40.0 percent (8-20)
Free-throw Percentage – 78.9 percent (15-19)
Alex Foster – 27 points, 7 rebounds
Will Trawick – 13 points, 5 rebounds
Michael Florin – 12 points, 5 assists

NEXT GAME:

  • Friday, February 20 – Brandeis University at UChicago, 8 PM