CHICAGO – In its home debut, the No. 17-ranked University of Chicago men's basketball team got off to a roaring start and then utilized free throws to hold off a late rally and defeat Lake Forest College 67-61 on Tuesday.
The Maroons improved to 1-1 on the season while the Foresters fell to 0-2. The game marked the 90th all-time meeting between the two teams, with UChicago holding a 58-32 series lead.
UChicago ended up leading wire-to-wire and built up a sizable lead in the opening 10 minutes. The Maroons showed off their athleticism by throwing down three dunks in the first three-and-a-half minutes, with two coming courtesy of senior forward Nate Brooks. A layup by sophomore forward Collin Barthel and a jumper from senior guard Jordan Smith gave the home side a 17-6 lead.
Forward Jim Schick kept the visitors in the game by scoring seven-straight points. Schick was coming off a 30-point, 14-rebound performance versus University of Wisconsin-Platteville. The junior kept up his hot play with team highs of 17 points and 13 rebounds, making 8 of 10 shots in the process.
Lake Forest crept closer at 25-19. But four free throws by Brooks and a three-pointer by sophomore guard Jake Fenlon pushed UChicago back up to 32-23. Senior forward Alex Voss sank a trey of his own to provide the final points of the half at 37-24. The Maroons shot 46.7 percent in the period and Brooks led the charge with eight points.
UChicago's largest lead of the second half came at 46-32 with 14:52 remaining. The Foresters took off from that moment, running off 14 of the next 15 points to get within one at 47-46. Lake Forest used aggressive defense on the perimeter and a newfound offensive rhythm to close the gap. The Maroons settled for three-pointers that did not fall in that stretch as the offense grinded to a halt.
Smith hit a big three-pointer to give his team some breathing room at 52-46. In the final five minutes, the Foresters purposely fouled to put the Maroons on the free throw line. UChicago struggled mightily at the charity stripe in its previous game, making 7 of 19 at North Park University on Saturday. This time, the Maroons came through with 12 makes on 14 attempts during a four-minute stretch to thwart Lake Forest. Another Brooks dunk put the game away with 25 seconds left.
Lake Forest narrowly won the rebounding category 40-39. Turnovers were even at 10 each. UChicago held a 20-12 lead in bench points, with Barthel contributing 11 points and six rebounds to the effort.
Smith scored 15 points, including 11 in the second half, to lead the Maroon scorers. Brooks posted his first double-double of the season (10 points, 10 rebounds). Junior forward Waller Perez added nine points and five rebounds.
UChicago Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 39.2 percent (20-51)
Three-point Percentage – 24.0 percent (6-25)
Free-throw Percentage – 65.6 percent (21-32)
Jordan Smith (Guard, Sr.) – 15 points, 5 assists
Nate Brooks (Forward, Sr.) – 10 points, 10 rebounds
Collin Barthel (Forward, So.) – 11 points, 6 rebounds
Lake Forest Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 41.8 percent (28-67)
Three-point Percentage – 5.6 percent (1-18)
Free-throw Percentage – 50.0 percent (4-8)
Jim Schick – 17 points, 13 rebounds
Danny Sotos – 17 points, 4 rebounds
- Saturday, November 21 – UChicago vs. University of Mount Union (Naperville, Ill.), 2:30 PM