Maroon men’s basketball gets back on winning track against Brandeis, 75-65

Tyler Howard and Jake Fenlon
Tyler Howard and Jake Fenlon

CHICAGO – An efficient offensive effort from University of Chicago men's basketball team resulted in a 75-65 home victory over Brandeis University on Friday evening.

The Maroons snapped their five-game losing streak and improved to 9-6 overall (1-3 in the University Athletic Association). The Judges dropped to 6-8 and 2-2 in the UAA.

From the onset, Brandeis established its physical defensive ethos. The Judges reached in and poked at the ball all game and aggressively double teamed in the post. The tactics alternately forced 11 turnovers and resulted in 22 foul calls that sent the Maroons to the free throw line for 30 attempts. Some of that aggression was exploited early, as UChicago achieved multiple back cuts for layups in the early going.

After UChicago junior guard Jake Fenlon splashed a three-pointer at 13-6, Brandeis switched to a 2-3 zone. Senior guard Tyler Howard was the recipient of good ball movement and he capitalized with a corner three at 18-10. Fenlon was feeling it from deep as well with another triple at 21-14.

The Judges drew close with some long-range shooting, cutting the deficit to 28-25. Senior forward Waller Perez responded to the threat with a dunk and a three. Sophomore forward Ryan Jacobsen was also able to utilize his scoring touch. He accounted for the final five points of the half, including a traditional and-one, three-point play that put the Maroons ahead 36-28 heading into halftime.

UChicago tried to exploit its size advantage in the paint. However, Brandeis frequently made life difficult down low by doubling late and swiping at the ball. The Judges heated up offensively with an 11-2 run that tied the game at 42-42. Jacobsen recorded another and-one conversion and the score soon stood at 49-49. That's when the Maroons juiced up its execution once more by embarking on a 13-1 streak over a five-minute stretch in the middle of the second half. UChicago held an advantage of at least nine points for the remainder of the game.

Howard and Fenlon possessed the hot hands from deep all evening, combining to sink 7 of 11 (63.6 percent) from beyond the arc. The guards posted 16 points each. Howard was also active as a distributor and defender with six assists and three steals.

Despite fewer offensive touches than normal, senior forward Blaine Crawford still posted his seventh double-double of the season. Crawford recorded 16 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. He provided one of the evening's highlights at 73-58 when he avoided a triple team in the post and threw down an emphatic two-handed dunk. Perez joined in on the scoring with 14 points and six rebounds.

UChicago outshot Brandeis in field-goal percentage 51.1 percent to 43.4 percent. Both teams were an identical 8-for-20 from three-point range (40 percent). The Maroons owned the advantage in rebounds (35-27), assists (17-10) and turnovers (11-12).

NEXT GAME:

  • Sunday, Jan. 22 @ 12:00 PM – New York University at UChicago