Maroon men's basketball falls to Brandeis 78-63

Nate Brooks
Nate Brooks

CHICAGO, Ill. – The University of Chicago men's basketball team couldn't find its offensive rhythm and fell victim to hot-shooting Brandeis University 78-63 on Friday.

The Maroons dropped to 15-8 overall and 7-5 in the University Athletic Association (UAA). The Judges improved to 9-14 overall and 4-8 in conference.

UChicago turned the ball over on three of its first four possessions against an active Brandeis zone defense. The visitors jumped out to an 8-1 lead. However, sophomore forward Blaine Crawford got the Maroons going with a big two-handed dunk, followed by a transition three-pointer from junior forward Alex Voss. After a loose-ball scramble on the offensive end, freshman guard Jake Fenlon corralled the ball and sunk a three to make the score 11-10 UChicago.

Junior forward Nate Brooks found success in the paint and scored an and-one opportunity to tie the game at 16-16. Another Brooks bucket in close and a Voss trey evened the score at 21-21, and sophomore forward Waller Perez scored back-to-back layups afterwards. Brandeis scored nine of the last 11 points in the half and went into the break with a 34-27 lead.

The Judges shot 46.7 percent on field goals in the half while the Maroons shot 33.3 percent, including 3-for-16 from three-point range. Voss tallied eight points for the home team. Nate Meehan came off the bench with a big contribution for Brandeis, scoring 11 points on five shot attempts.

Early in the second half, UChicago made four-straight shots and pulled within 38-36 on a basket from Brooks. Both sides responded to each made basket with one of their own from there. Fenlon recaptured the lead for the Maroons with a quick-draw three from the left corner at 46-45.

Two free throws by freshman forward Collin Barthel drew UChicago to within 62-59 with just under three minutes remaining in regulation. But Brandeis closed out the game with a 16-4 run to put the result out of reach. Jordan Cooper helped spark the streak with an off-balance three-point heave that banked in as the shot clock expired at 67-60. The Judges converted 11 of 12 free throws down the stretch.

UChicago was outrebounded 37-34 overall. However, the Maroons led offensive boards 15-5 and second-chance points 17-2. Brandeis committed 14 turnovers and UChicago turned the ball over 11 times.

The Judges shot 63.6 percent in the second half en route to 53.8 percent shooting overall from the field in the game. The Maroons launched a season-high 36 three-pointers.

UChicago Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 32.3 percent (20-62)
Three-point Percentage – 22.2 percent (8-36)
Free-throw Percentage – 62.5 percent (15-24)
Nate Brooks (Forward, Jr.) – 13 points, 10 rebounds
Alex Voss (Forward, Jr.) – 13 points

Brandeis Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 53.8 percent (28-52)
Three-point Percentage – 66.7 percent (8-12)
Free-throw Percentage – 93.3 percent (14-15)
Nate Meehan – 22 points
Jordan Cooper – 20 points

NEXT GAME:

  • Sunday, February 22 – New York University at UChicago, 12 PM