CHICAGO – The University of Chicago men's basketball team crashed the offensive boards all game, but couldn't keep up with Emory University's firepower in a 99-88 loss on Sunday afternoon.
The Maroons dropped to 13-9 overall and 5-6 in the University Athletic Association (UAA). The Eagles improved to 15-7 and 6-5 in conference.
Sunday also marked Senior Day for UChicago's four seniors – forward Blaine Crawford, guard Alex Gustafson, guard Tyler Howard and senior Waller Perez. The quartet was recognized on the court alongside their families before the start of the game. Over their four years in the program, the Maroons own a cumulative record of 61-36 (.629 winning percentage).
The hosts went ahead at 9-5 before Emory countered to go up 12-11. Junior guard Jake Fenlon then hit back-to-back threes to make the score 21-20. The offense picked up from there with nine points in less than two minutes. Crawford supplied six of the points, including a dunk at 30-22. The Maroons gobbled up offensive rebounds all game long, beating out the Eagles 20-6 in that category.
However, Emory had the answer with Adam Gigax. The forward burned UChicago with 13-straight points, including a trio of threes, to give Emory a 35-32 advantage. The Maroons struggled to contain Gigax, who put up 20 points in the first half and 36 by the end of the game.
Perez kept UChicago in it with aggressive drives to the hoop. He frequently got fouled on his forays and made Emory pay by making 9 of 10 from the line in the first half. UChicago went into halftime down 45-43, with 11 points provided by Perez and Fenlon. Crawford added 10 points of his own.
While Emory was shooting 56 percent from the field, UChicago stumbled with 33 percent shooting. Rebounds were key as the home team held a 26-17 advantage, including 13-3 on the offensive glass.
In the second half, Emory slowly but surely pulled away. The Eagles led 66-53 until a quick 10-3 run got the Maroons back within striking distance. Sophomore guard Justin Jackson scored a layup and drew the foul for a three-point play at 69-63.
But defense and free throws hurt UChicago down the stretch. After making 15 of 19 free throws in the first half, the Maroons struggled to 9 of 19 in the final 20 minutes. Emory's offense remained undeterred and shot 69 percent from the field in the second half.
Fenlon made things interesting with a deep three on the left wing at 89-81, and then made all three free throws after getting fouled at 91-84. However, the comeback attempt came up short.
Emory shot 61.7 percent overall from field and 56.3 percent from three (9-16). UChicago shot 42.4 percent overall and 32 percent from beyond the arc (8-25).
In his final game inside the Ratner Athletics Center, Perez tallied 22 points and eight rebounds (six offensive). Fenlon sank five three-pointers and tallied 20 points. Crawford scored 16 points with five rebounds. Junior forward Collin Barthel snagged 10 rebounds and sophomore guard Noah Karras netted 10 points off the bench.
- Friday, Feb. 17 @ 8:00 PM (ET) – UChicago at Brandeis