UChicago men’s basketball falls to Carnegie Mellon in overtime, 85-83

Blaine Crawford
Blaine Crawford

CHICAGO – A pair of last-second shots did not fall for the University of Chicago men's basketball team in a dramatic 85-83 overtime loss to Carnegie Mellon University on Sunday.

The Maroons dropped to 12-8 on the season and 4-5 in the University Athletic Association (UAA). The Tartans moved to 11-9 and 5-4 in UAA contests.

Early on, it was the Jack Serbin show as the 6-foot-9 forward went off in the first 11 minutes. Serbin accounted for 15 of CMU's opening 24 points by scoring both inside and from beyond the arc.

Down 24-14 midway through the first half, the senior forward duo of Blaine Crawford and Waller Perez got UChicago back into the mix. They spurred a 10-2 run that drew the Maroons close to even. Sophomore guard Noah Karras was later fouled on a three-point attempt and he sank all the free throws to make the score 34-33. Senior guard Tyler Howard also drew a foul with one second left and converted both opportunities to cut CMU's lead to 37-35 at the break.

Crawford tallied 12 points in the first half and was closely followed by Perez with 10. UChicago hung close despite an 0-for-7 showing from three-point range.

The Tartans got a boost from the outside when guard Ryan Maha canned four three-pointers in six possessions to put the visitors ahead 53-42. One week after burning CMU for 30 points, junior guard Jake Fenlon stepped up again with a pair of threes that made the score 63-61. Shortly afterwards, UChicago tied the game with a steal that turned into a fast-break layup going the other way for freshman guard Jordan Baum.

Crawford threw down a dunk to recapture the lead at 67-65, and then made a free throw at 70-65 to cap a 14-2 rally. The Maroons were up by five points with 61 seconds remaining, but CMU once again leaned on Serbin to deliver. The forward tied the game at 72-72 with 12 seconds remaining on a three-pointer. UChicago had the last possession to end the game, but a shot in the paint drew iron and the teams headed to overtime.

Eight-straight points by the visitors put the Maroons in a four-point hole with 28 seconds left in the extra period. Howard drove the lane and scored a layup with 21 ticks remaining, then Fenlon hit a high-degree of difficulty three from deep with six seconds left to pull within 84-83.

CMU went 1-for-2 at the line, and UChicago had the ball again in the waning moments. However, a final three-point attempt did not get off in time and the game ended in favor of the Tartans 85-83.

While both teams shot similar percentages overall (UChicago 49.2 percent / CMU 47.8 percent), the big difference occurred at the arc. The Tartans sank 10-for-19 (52.6 percent) compared to 4-for-17 (23.5 percent) by the Maroons. The home team held a narrow 39-37 edge in rebounds.

Five Maroons ended up with double-digit points. Crawford posted his ninth double-double of the season with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Perez (six rebounds) and Howard (seven assists) each put up 14 points. Junior forward Collin Barthel grabbed 11 rebounds and matched that with 11 points, while also dishing out four assists. Fenlon splashed in 12 points off the bench.


  • Friday, Feb. 10 @ 8:00 PM – University of Rochester at UChicago