CHICAGO – A three-pointer at the buzzer by North Park University downed the University of Chicago men's basketball team 88-87 in the season opener on Tuesday night.
The Maroons fell to 0-1 and the Vikings improved to 1-0.
UChicago's post players possessed the size advantage, which caused North Park to sag towards the middle of the lane frequently. The Maroon perimeter players got good looks from beyond the arc as a result. Out of the home team's 32 shots in the first half, 18 of them were from three-point range.
UChicago took an early 10-6 lead, which included a three-pointer and layup from sophomore guard Noah Karras. North Park got in on the three-point barrage as well, hoisting 11 in the half and hitting five. The Vikings went ahead 20-17 until a free throw and a three-pointer by junior guard Jake Fenlon put the Maroons back up 24-22.
It was back and forth the rest of the half. UChicago went into halftime with a 45-42 advantage led by Karras with 11 points. The home team shot 10 of 14 from inside the arc (71 percent).
The visitors came out blazing with an 11-2 run out of the break. North Park's Jordan Robinson had the hot hand with 17 second-half points, scoring in the paint and from long range. Midway through the half, the Vikings were up 63-57.
From the 11:08 mark on, senior point guard Tyler Howard and Karras jumpstarted a 17-3 run over the next four minutes. A three and two layups by Howard and back-to-back treys from Karras gave UChicago a 68-63 lead. Junior forward Collin Barthel and senior forward Waller Perez hit a pair from downtown to extend the margin to 80-71.
UChicago held an 86-80 lead with 31 seconds left, but the Vikings persisted. Juwan Henry flushed two deep three-pointers to chop the margin to 87-85. North Park then stole the long in-bounds pass and sank a trey from the left wing as time expired to steal the victory, 88-87.
The Maroons ended up shooting 50.8 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from beyond the arc (13 of 31). However, UChicago struggled at the free throw line, converting 12 of 23 (52.2 percent). The hosts won the rebounding battle 40-30.
All five UChicago starters recorded double-digit points. Karras led the way with a career-high 17 thanks to five three-pointers. Perez submitted a well-rounded box score of 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Barthel scored 15 points in 20 minutes played, grabbing six rebounds in the process. Howard and senior forward Blaine Crawford ended up with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
North Park shot 48.3 percent from the field and made half of their 24 three-point attempts. Robinson posted a double-double of 27 points and 13 rebounds. Colin Lake hit the game-winner to finish with 21 points, and Henry ended with 20 points.
- Saturday, Nov. 19 – UChicago at Lake Forest College, 3 PM