Maroon men's basketball loses late at Rochester 88-82

Blaine Crawford and Waller Perez
Blaine Crawford and Waller Perez

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The University of Chicago men's basketball team was primed to deliver an upset of undefeated University of Rochester on Friday night in a back-and-forth battle. But the Yellowjackets prevailed late 88-82 thanks to a career night by Sam Borst-Smith.

The Maroons (8-5, 0-2 UAA) suffered their fourth-straight loss while the No. 3-ranked Yellowjackets (13-0, 2-0 UAA) kept their perfect record intact.

Rochester jumped out to early leads of 12-6 and 19-13. However, UChicago got back into the game with an and-one layup by sophomore forward Ryan Jacobsen and a three-pointer from sophomore guard Noah Karras tied things up, 19-19. Six-straight points by senior forward Blaine Crawford gave the Maroons the lead at 25-24.

In the final three minutes of the half, the visitors turned to forward Waller Perez. The senior delivered seven points in the last 2:31 of action, including a layup with two ticks left on the clock. The surge gave UChicago a 45-39 advantage at halftime. Perez had 10 points at the break and Crawford was the go-to scorer down low with 14.

The boards keyed the Maroons in the opening 20 minutes as they outrebounded the Yellowjackets 21-11, including 8-0 on the offensive glass.

Rochester racked up six quick points to begin the second half, tying the contest up at 45-45. Back-to-back threes courtesy of Karras and Jacobsen got UChicago back on track at 56-52. The visitors eventually took its biggest lead of the game 68-59 with 9:13 left.

However, Borst-Smith's hot hand chopped the deficit down quickly. The guard canned three-straight treys to draw his team to within 71-70. The two sides exchanged buckets for several minutes afterwards. Karras converted a jumper at 80-77 with 3:09 remaining in the game.

But the Yellowjackets did not slow down offensively as the home team scored on its final six possessions. UChicago was limited to two points over the last three minutes. A blocked shot with 20 seconds remaining was also key for Rochester to close out the game.

Rochester shot 56.6 percent from field and was equally dangerous from long range, going 13-for-23 (56.5 percent). Borst-Smith finished with a career-best 38 points and converted 7 of 8 three-pointers to go with 11 of 12 free throws.

UChicago ended up shooting 48.4 percent from field, 30.8 percent from three and 63.2 percent on free throws. Rebounds went to the Maroons 37-27, which helped lead to a 15-2 margin in second-chance points. Crawford led the way with 18 points and eight rebounds. Perez and Karras posted 16 points each.

NEXT GAME:

  • Sunday, Jan. 15 @ 12:00 PM (ET) – UChicago at Emory University