Overtime buzzer-beater by Rochester hands Maroon men's basketball 77-76 loss

Tyler Howard
Tyler Howard

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – In one of the most thrilling finishes in recent UAA basketball memory, sophomore guard Jake Fenlon hit a three for the University of Chicago men's basketball team at the buzzer to force overtime. However, with time expiring in the extra period, University of Rochester's Mack Montague sank a corner three that bested UChicago 77-76 on Sunday.

The fourth-straight loss dropped the Maroons to 14-6 overall and 5-4 in the University Athletic Association (UAA). The Yellowjackets improved to 13-6 (6-2 UAA). Junior guard Tyler Howard poured in a career-high 22 points, while seniors Alex Voss and Jordan Smith recorded 14 apiece for the visitors. Montague and Jared Seltzer paced Rochester with 15 points each.

With five seconds remaining in overtime, UChicago held a 76-73 lead. Rochester's Sam Borst-Smith drew a foul with two seconds left and went to the line for two free throws. After sinking the first, he intentionally missed the second and grabbed his own rebound. Borst-Smith kicked the ball out to Montague, who buried the game-winning trey at the horn.

The Maroons fought back admirably in a contest heavy on runs. With 4:24 left in regulation, Borst-Smith hit a three to put the home team up by 15 at 62-47. UChicago shook off the large deficit and the three-headed upperclassmen attack of Smith, Voss and Howard brought the Maroons storming back on a 15-2 run to pull with two at 64-62 with 59 seconds remaining. Fenlon then delivered the heroics by canning his last-second three-pointer to extend the game at 66-66. Howard's offensive push keyed numerous runs as he shot past his previous career-best of 17 points.

At the game's onset, the Yellowjackets bookended a 6-0 Maroon run with two 5-0 runs to go up 15-11. It was a game of point streaks in New York early and often. The home team led 25-17 with 4:32 left in the first half. However, the Maroons closed on a 15-4 streak to go into the break ahead 32-29. Howard scored 11 in the half, including the final five points with two free throws and a trey.

UChicago took the ball to the hoop and got to the line for most of their scoring, although junior forward Waller Perez and sophomore guard Scott Herlihy did hit threes to bring the Maroon score from 32 to 35 and then from 37 to 40.

At that point, the Yellowjackets turned up the intensity and went on a run of their own. The home team went up 55-42 by the 8:02 mark of the second half via a 17-4 outburst. Howard hit four free throws in a quick stretch around the four-minute mark to cut the lead to 11.

In a spectacular final stretch, the Maroons went on an 11-0 run over the final three minutes to chop the deficit all the way from 64-52 to 64-63, setting up Fenlon's tying shot from deep.

Both Smith and Howard made threes in overtime, but Rochester's timely shooting proved too much as the home team swept the season series.

Sunday afternoon's matchup featured seven ties and 12 lead changes. UChicago owned the rebounding category 40-33 and made three fewer turnovers (12 to 15). The Yellowjackets shot 43 percent from three-point range with 10 triples converted. The Maroons had one of their best free-throw shooting performances of the season, hitting 20 of 25 (80 percent).

UChicago Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 37.5 percent (24-64)
Three-point Percentage – 28.6 percent (8-28)
Free-throw Percentage – 80.0 percent (20-25)
Tyler Howard (Guard, Jr.) – 22 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds
Alex Voss (Forward, Sr.) – 14 points, 9 rebounds
Jordan Smith (Guard, Sr.) – 14 points, 8 rebounds

Rochester Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 45.6 percent (26-57)
Three-point Percentage – 43.5 percent (10-23)
Free-throw Percentage – 68.2 percent (15-22)
Mack Montague – 15 points, 5 rebounds
Jared Seltzer – 15 points, 3 rebounds
Sam Borst-Smith – 12 points, 6 rebounds

NEXT GAME:

  • Friday, February 12 – Carnegie Mellon University at UChicago, 8 PM