CHICAGO – When the three-pointers weren't falling, the University of Chicago men's basketball team leaned on its post players to deliver a 93-79 victory over New York University on Sunday.
The Maroons improved to 10-6 on the season with a 2-3 mark in the University Athletic Association (UAA). The Violets fell to 6-9 overall and 1-4 in conference play.
A lack of three-pointers were more than made up for in the paint by the Maroons. The hosts shot 60.5 percent on field goals inside the arc. When UChicago drew fouls, the team sank a season-best 85.2 percent from the free throw line (23-27). It was the squad's best free throw percentage with more than 10 attempts since shooting 92.3 percent versus Illinois Institute of Technology on Jan. 3, 2015.
The Maroons were drawing iron from deep, going 1-for-10 in the first half. But the post players handled the load. Junior forward Collin Barthel and senior forward Waller Perez spun and drop-stepped their way to a combined 25 points in the first half on 9-for-12 shooting. UChicago also sank 12 of 14 free throws in the opening 20 minutes.
Perez was the early catalyst, scoring eight of the team's first 13 points. However, NYU guard Ross Udine tallied eight-straight points to give the visitors a leg up at 19-13. A 10-3 responding streak by UChicago was capped by a Perez layup at 23-22.
Then it was time for Barthel to go to work. The junior tallied nine points in-a-row over a two-minute stretch to put his team ahead 35-29. The home side went into the halftime break with a 43-39 lead.
Senior forward Blaine Crawford and Barthel accounted for 11 of the next 13 Maroon points in the second half. Barthel's layup and-one pushed the lead to 52-41. NYU got on an offensive roll after that and closed to within 56-52. But then the floodgates opened and UChicago went on a 21-4 tear over a five-minute stretch that put the game to bed. Junior guard Jake Fenlon provided 10 of the points during that run with a combination of drives and threes. The Maroons took a 25-point advantage – their largest of the game – at 88-63 and cruised to the finish.
UChicago shot 49.2 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from three-point range (6-22). On the other side of the court, the Violets shot 44.6 percent overall and 36 percent from deep (9-25). Rebounding was a clear asset for the Maroons, who held sway with a 44-30 margin.
Perez put up 24 points on an efficient 9-for-12 shooting performance. Barthel submitted his second-highest point total of the season with 18 points to go with six rebounds. Crawford recorded 17 points and nine rebounds, while Fenlon tallied 15 points and four blocks.
- Friday, Jan. 27 @ 8:00 PM (ET) – UChicago at Case Western Reserve University