Second half boosts Maroon men’s basketball past DePauw, 78-56

Blaine Crawford and Waller Perez
Blaine Crawford and Waller Perez

CHICAGO – The University of Chicago men's basketball team shook off a halftime deficit and owned the second half on both sides of the ball to defeat DePauw University 78-56 on Sunday afternoon.

The Maroons won the championship game of the four-team UChicago Tournament over the weekend, improving their season record to 4-1 in the process. The Tigers dropped to 2-3. At the day's conclusion, UChicago senior forward Blaine Crawford was named Tournament MVP and senior forward Waller Perez earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team.

The early stages of the game went back and forth, with DePauw moving ahead 17-15. UChicago made a 13-2 charge to go ahead 28-19 and force a timeout. The Maroons made all six of their shots in that time frame.

DePauw turned things right back around with seven points in-a-row to draw within two. The Tigers kept pushing and finished the half with a 35-34 lead thanks to a 16-4 spurt over the final six minutes. Both teams combined to shoot 54 percent from the field.

Perez and Crawford made the most impact down low. Crawford snatched offensive and defensive rebounds alike and was in position to score right under the basket constantly. He snagged nine rebounds and tallied 10 points in the opening half. Perez knifed into the lane, using spins and pivots to create chances for himself within eight feet. He made 5 of 6 shots for 11 points.

UChicago came out hungry in the second half and the offense stepped up its efficiency even further. Six of its first seven shots went in and the lead was back in hand at 50-42. Sophomore guard Noah Karras shook off an inaccurate first half to put up eight points during the push, including a pair of three-pointers. Perez chipped in six points of his own.

The pace slowed a bit from there, but the Maroons kept methodically adding to their lead. The advantage moved up to 62-44 with eight-and-a-half minutes left, and DePauw could not bite into the deficit in any significant fashion. The home side cruised down the stretch and emptied its bench en route to the 22-point victory. The Tigers were held to 22 percent shooting in the second half while the Maroons made 52 percent of their field goals and 6 of 11 three-pointers.

All told, UChicago shot over 50 percent for the fourth time in five games this season (53.8 percent). Eight three-pointers went through the net (38.1 percent) and 14 of 21 free throws were converted (66.7 percent).

Perez tied his career-high with 25 points. Crawford recorded his second-straight double-double with 15 points and a career-best 13 rebounds. Karras put up 16 points on the perimeter and junior forward Collin Barthel pulled down 11 rebounds in the post. Senior point guard Tyler Howard dished out eight assists to go with seven points.

UChicago emphatically won the rebounding battle 40-23. The Maroons also scored 21 points off DePauw's 12 turnovers. The Tigers finished with a 39.2 percent shooting performance.

NEXT GAME:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 30 @ 8:00 PM – Wheaton College at UChicago