UChicago men’s basketball pulls away with offensive burst to top Carroll, 93-84

Waller Perez, Blaine Crawford and Noah Karras
Waller Perez, Blaine Crawford and Noah Karras

CHICAGO – An offensive shootout on Saturday afternoon between the University of Chicago men's basketball team and Carroll University featured efficient scoring in a back-and-forth battle. Ultimately, the host Maroons rode their starting lineup's firepower to earn the 94-83 victory.

The Maroons (3-1 record) won their third-straight game and dealt the Pioneers (3-1) their first loss of the season. The four-team UChicago Tournament wraps up on Sunday afternoon when the Maroons take on DePauw University (2-2) in the championship game at 3:00 PM.

UChicago's starting five were on from the get-go and accounted for 90 of the team's 93 points. Fast play and crisp passing by both teams led to plenty of scoring opportunities, which each side exploited effectively. For the game, the Maroons and the Pioneers combined to shoot 58.7 percent from the field. The last time UChicago reached 90 points in a game occurred on Feb. 12, 2016 in a 94-59 home victory over Carnegie Mellon University.

Carroll looked to be the more aggressive team early on, starting out with a 15-8 lead over the opening seven minutes. Five-straight points by senior forward Blaine Crawford got the Maroons on the right track and a three-point play by senior guard Tyler Howard tied the game at 19-19.

Noah Karras was dangerous from deep all afternoon. The sophomore guard hit five three-pointers for the Maroons, including three in-a-row to draw the home team to within 30-28. Howard's layup and three-pointer put UChicago ahead 35-30. The Maroons rode their momentum into halftime with a 41-37 advantage.

Karras led the team with 14 points at the break. Crawford exploited his size advantage down low to pick up 10 points and six rebounds.

The pace did not slacken in the second half as the two sides exchanged leads regularly. Crawford continued to be a problem for the Pioneers with his offensive rebounding, put-backs and ability to draw contact and fouls. But the second half was owned by senior Waller Perez. The forward scored 20 of his 24 points in the second half with a variety of slashes into the lane and spot-up opportunities on the perimeter.

The Maroons clung to a narrow 68-66 lead with just under eight minutes left in the game. For the ensuing six-minute stretch, UChicago put its foot on the gas. The home team embarked on a 22-9 run that gave the Maroons their largest lead of the game at 90-75. The run featured eight points by Perez and six points each for Karras and Crawford.

UChicago ended up shooting a season-best 60 percent from the field – its best percentage in the past 95 games. Nine of the field goals were triples (39.1 percent), while the free throw line produced 19 of 33 (57.6 percent). Rebounds were in favor of the Maroons 31-25, as well as assists at 19-9.

Crawford set a pair of career highs with 23 points and 12 rebounds. The senior also shot 7 of 8 from the field. Karras also had a career-best point total with 22. Howard rounded out the big contributions with 18 points and five assists.

The Pioneers shots 57.4 percent from the field, 26.7 percent from three-point range and 89.5 percent from the charity stripe. Kyle Keranen tallied a game-high 30 points.

NEXT GAME:

  • Sunday, Nov. 27 @ 3:00 PM – DePauw University at UChicago