ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Down by two points on its final possession, the No. 16-ranked University of Chicago men's basketball team put the ball in Jordan Smith's hands with the game in the balance. The senior guard answered the call and hit the winning three-pointer to clinch a 70-69 result for UChicago over Washington University-St. Louis on Saturday.
With their ninth win in-a-row, the Maroons improved to 10-2 overall and 1-0 in the University Athletic Association (UAA). The loss dropped the Bears to 8-4 on the season (0-1 UAA). In addition to his late-game heroics, Smith led all scorers with 23 points on efficient 9-for-16 shooting from the floor. Senior forward Alex Voss contributed his third double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while junior forward Waller Perez was the third Maroon to register double-digit points by chipping in 14.
The visitors led by as many as 18 points in the second half, but the Bears stormed back and grabbed a 69-67 lead with 21 seconds remaining. UChicago inbounded the ball to junior guard Tyler Howard, who found senior forward Nate Brooks on the right wing. Brooks spotted Smith coming off a pick and handed it off to him about two feet behind the three-point line; Smith took the pass and splashed the trey through the net in spectacular fashion. WashU still had 11 seconds to answer but sophomore Kevin Kucera's fade away jumper grazed the rim and came up short as time expired.
The visitors opened the game on a 9-0 run, took an 11-point lead into the half and were up by 10 with seven minutes left in the game. UChicago had a chokehold on the game for much of the afternoon, leading by scores of 18-8, 35-18, 44-26 and 52-41.
But WashU clawed its way back into the game and sophomore Jake Knupp went on his own 9-0 run to cut the lead to 60-59 with 4:36 left. The two teams battled from there, with the Bears taking their first lead with 1:41 left via sophomore David Schmelter's layup. Knupp scored 14 points in the final 10 minutes and the game went down to the wire before Smith's game-winner.
The Maroons were outrebounded for only the third time this season with a final tally of 42-33. Turnovers were even at 11-11, and WashU led points in the paint 42-24. However, Smith scored 13 points in the second half and UChicago converted nine three-pointers compared to four by WashU.
UChicago Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 45.3 percent (24-53)
Three-point Percentage – 39.1 percent (9-23)
Free-throw Percentage – 56.5 percent (13-23)
Jordan Smith (Guard, Sr.) – 23 points
Waller Perez (Forward, Jr.) – 14 points
Alex Voss (Forward, Sr.) – 12 points, 10 rebounds
Washington-St. Louis Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 42.2 percent (27-64)
Three-point Percentage – 23.5 percent (4-17)
Free-throw Percentage – 73.3 percent (11-15)
Jake Knupp – 18 points, 4 rebounds
Matt Highsmith – 15 points, 6 rebounds
- Friday, January 15 – UChicago at Carnegie Mellon University, 8 PM (ET)