PITTSBURGH, Pa. – After 40 minutes of closely-contested action, the University of Chicago men's basketball team emerged with their 10th-straight win by a 70-68 score over Carnegie Mellon University on Friday evening.
The No. 16-ranked Maroons improved to 11-2 overall and 2-0 in the University Athletic Association (UAA). The Tartans (7-6 overall, 0-2 UAA) lost their third-straight game.
The first half played unevenly for the visitors, who shot 28 percent from the field. However, UChicago drew consistent contact and marched to the free throw line 15 times, making 13. Junior forward Blaine Crawford came off the bench to contribute early and often and he scored 12 points in 13 first-half minutes, which included hitting 6 of 7 free throws.
Crawford and junior forward Waller Perez took over the scoring load down the stretch. The duo combined to score the team's last 15 points, and the Maroons went into halftime trailing 33-32. Perez stroked a three-pointer with 2:19 remaining and Crawford followed up with a layup and free throw for a three-point play of his own with one minute left.
UChicago took its first lead of the game at 39-37 when sophomore guard Jake Fenlon knocked down a trey right after senior forward Nate Brooks threw down a dunk. The Maroons went ahead 43-37 and the two teams continued to trade baskets from that point on.
Carnegie Mellon recaptured the lead 63-61 with 4:18 left in the game. UChicago responded with seven-straight points, including the go-ahead three from sophomore forward Collin Barthel. The Tartans sank a three of their own to make it a one-possession game in the final minute.
CMU had an opportunity to tie the game with nine seconds left, but missed both free throws. Perez split a pair of free throws himself with six seconds remaining to put UChicago ahead 69-66. The home side had another chance to send the game to overtime; however, the Tartans settled for a layup with one second left. Perez made his first free throw and missed the second, which did not allow Carnegie Mellon enough time to get off a full-court heave at the buzzer.
The Maroons held a slight edge in rebounding 41-38, with a larger advantage in offensive boards at 17-10. Turnovers were even at 11 for each squad, while CMU blocked seven shots.
Crawford's 16 points were a season high, and he was matched in the points tally by senior guard Jordan Smith. Perez was right behind with 15 points. Senior forward Alex Voss came up big in the paint with 15 rebounds.
UChicago Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 38.7 percent (24-62)
Three-point Percentage – 20.0 percent (3-15)
Free-throw Percentage – 63.3 percent (19-30)
Blaine Crawford (Forward, Jr.) – 16 points, 5 rebounds
Jordan Smith (Guard, Sr.) – 16 points, 5 rebounds
Waller Perez (Forward, Jr.) – 15 points, 4 rebounds
Carnegie Mellon Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 46.6 percent (27-58)
Three-point Percentage – 28.6 percent (4-14)
Free-throw Percentage – 62.5 percent (10-16)
Jack Serbin – 18 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists
Ryan Maha – 14 points
Chris Shkil – 10 points, 9 rebounds, 5 blocks
Jason Sebak – 10 points, 8 assists
- Sunday, January 17 – UChicago at Case Western Reserve University, 12 PM (ET)