UChicago men’s basketball catches fire from deep, bombards Carnegie Mellon 94-59

Tyler Howard and Jake Fenlon
Tyler Howard and Jake Fenlon

CHICAGO – Three-pointers were splashing early and often, so the University of Chicago men's basketball team continued to make it rain all throughout Friday night's contest. By the final buzzer, UChicago tied the school record with 17 three-pointers in a dominating 94-59 win over Carnegie Mellon University.

The win improved the Maroons to 15-6 (6-4 in the University Athletic Association) while dropping the Tartans to 9-12 (2-8 UAA) on the campaign.

The home team came out rolling on Friday evening. First, senior forward Alex Voss drained a three and then, fellow senior guard Jordan Smith nailed one of his own to give the home team an early 6-4 advantage. Another Voss three tied the game at 10.

For the next 12 minutes, the two opponents swapped points, with numerous three-point Maroon leads serving as the largest advantage taken by either team. The score stood knotted at 27 with just under three minutes left in the half. Two free throws from junior guard Tyler Howard put UChicago ahead. Sophomore guard Jake Fenlon, Smith and Howard all swished treys in the final 91 seconds to propel the Maroons to an 11-0 run and a 38-27 halftime lead. Howard and Smith paced all first-half scorers with 11 points each.

Howard and Fenlon came out of the break still hot, contributing six more unanswered points to extend the run to 17-0, stretching the Maroon lead to 44-27. Sophomore Collin Barthel and Voss dialed it back up from long range on consecutive possessions to put the Maroons ahead 53-34.

The Tartans cut the lead to 58-44, but that was as close as the visitors would get. Fenlon made five three-pointers in the game – the sophomore was frequently open in the corners on the weak side as Carnegie Mellon defenders lost track of him. UChicago built the lead up into 20-point territory and eventually the 30-point range in the final minutes. In total, the Maroons netted 10 three-pointers in the second half and at one point had made 14 of 23 attempts from beyond the arc.

Both teams emptied their benches as the minutes ticked down. Freshman guard Noah Karras contributed a season-high eight points in only seven minutes of work, as all four UChicago freshmen saw floor action.

The Maroons sizzled all evening from the field – they shot 32 of 63 (50.8 percent) on all field goals, while accomplishing the rare feat of shooting an even better percentage from three (51.5 percent). UChicago was beastly on the boards with its second-largest rebounding margin (+20) of the season, 46-26. It was particularly noticeable on the offensive glass, where the Maroons held a 14-2 rebounding edge, resulting in a huge 18-0 advantage on second-chance points.

Howard's 20-point evening also featured seven assists. The point guard drove aggressively to the hoop and kicked the ball out when help defenders converged. Fenlon scored 15 points off the bench and Smith added 13 points as part of the starting unit.

UChicago Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 50.8 percent (32-63)
Three-point Percentage – 51.5 percent (17-33)
Free-throw Percentage – 56.5 percent (13-23)
Tyler Howard (Guard, Jr.) – 20 points, 7 assists
Jake Fenlon (Guard, So.) – 15 points
Jordan Smith (Guard, Sr.) – 13 points, 3 assists

Carnegie Mellon Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 41.2 percent (21-51)
Three-point Percentage – 18.2 percent (2-11)
Free-throw Percentage – 62.5 percent (15-24)
Chris Shkil – 13 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks

NEXT GAME:

  • Sunday, February 14 – Case Western Reserve University at UChicago, 12 PM