UChicago men’s basketball falls to North Park 72-66 in season opener

Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith

CHICAGO – The No. 17-ranked University of Chicago men's basketball team rallied back late in the game, but couldn't get the tying score in a 72-66 loss at North Park University on Saturday.

The Maroons (0-1 record) lead the all-time series with the Vikings (1-0) by a 6-3 margin.

UChicago got out ahead 11-7 in the opening minutes following a three-pointer and layup on back-to-back possessions by senior guard Jordan Smith. North Park's Juwan Henry countered by drawing multiple fouls and scoring seven-straight points via free throw to put the home team up 12-11. The Vikings embarked on a 24-9 run with Henry as the catalyst thanks to 17 first-half points.

Senior guard Scott Herlihy's layup with six seconds left got UChicago back within nine points. The Maroons trailed 35-26 at halftime and shot 35.5 percent from the field in that time. Henry sank 9 of 10 free throw attempts in the half.

Both offenses ran like clockwork in the second half, shooting an identical 16 of 27 from the field (59 percent). North Park's Jordan Robinson proved to be another thorn in UChicago's side as he poured in 19 points in the second half. The Vikings led by as many as 16 points, coming at 51-35.

Smith nearly matched him with 15 second-half points of his own. Sophomore forward Collin Barthel also made an impact with 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting in the half. The visitors caught fire and made eight of nine shots during one stretch to rally back to get within 64-56. Senior forward Alex Voss sank a big three-pointer to whittle it down to two points at 64-62 with 3:51 left in regulation.

UChicago had a chance to tie in the final 10 seconds of the game, but the shot missed and the Vikings scored four quick points to secure the win.

After shooting 59.3 percent from the free throw line as a team last season, the charity stripe proved problematic once again on Saturday. The Maroons only made 7 of 19 free throw attempts (36.8 percent). North Park also forced 19 turnovers and scored 21 points off those miscues.

UChicago led the rebounding battle 40-31, which included 15 offensive boards. Smith paced the team with 22 points while Voss and Barthel added 12 points apiece.

Henry and Robinson combined for 56 of North Park's 72 points.

UChicago Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 46.6 percent (27-58)
Three-point Percentage – 27.8 percent (5-18)
Free-throw Percentage – 36.8 percent (7-19)
Jordan Smith (Guard, Sr.) – 22 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists
Alex Voss (Forward, Sr.) – 12 points, 8 rebounds
Collin Barthel (Forward, So.) – 12 points, 7 rebounds

North Park Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 50.9 percent (27-53)
Three-point Percentage – 29.4 percent (5-17)
Free-throw Percentage – 65.0 percent (13-20)
Juwan Henry – 29 points
Jordan Robinson – 27 points, 9 rebounds

NEXT GAME:

  • Tuesday, November 17 – Lake Forest College at UChicago, 7 PM