Maroons Pull Off Second-Half Comeback; Top Albion 81-76 in OT

Collin Barthel
Collin Barthel

CHICAGO – Behind a steady offense that didn't quit, the University of Chicago men's basketball team pulled off a stellar overtime comeback win Wednesday night to defeat visiting Albion College, 81-76.

Sharpshooting senior guard Jake Fenlon led the Maroons (3-4) with a game-high 23 points, but he needed every bit of help from teammates Collin Barthel (10 points, 11 rebounds), Justin Jackson (10 points) and Jake Berhorst (10 points) in UChicago's closest win of the season and first overtime game of the year.

Trailing by as many as 18 points (55-37) at the 15:10 mark in the second half, UChicago began a run that proved pivotal in the win. Barthel started the charge with a layup and the Maroons would go on to out-score the Brits 20-0 over the course of the next 6:11. Noah Karras' bucket capped the run to give UChicago a 57-55 lead.

Karras, who was held scoreless in the first half, scored six of his eight points during the run and teammate Dominic Laravie chipped in five of his seven points, including a 3-pointer at the 9:38 mark.

The lead would change five more times over the course of the next five minutes before Fenlon came up big with one of his five 3-pointers to give UChicago a 68-66 advantage with 1:31 left.

Albion tied the game to set up Barthel, who drove to the right and finished a tough shot with 23 seconds to play and put his team up two, 70-68. But the Britons' Corey Wheeler answered with a basket of his own to send the game to OT.

Fenlon and Jordan Baum – who hit a clutch jumper from the corner with 51 seconds left in overtime – accounted for UChicago's two field goals in the extra frame and the Maroons used a stellar performance at the free-throw line to close out the game.

Jackson made 3-of-4 and Fenlon and Barthel each drained two freebies apiece to account for the Maroons' 7-of-8 finish at the stripe down the stretch.

Albion led at the half, 39-29, but Max Jacobs (layup) and back-to-back triples by Fenlon helped trim a lead that ballooned to as many as 15 (36-21) in the first 20 minutes.

Albion finished 31-of-67 (46.3 percent) from the field and 10-of-30 (30 percent) from 3-point land compared to 29-of-66 (43.9 percent) and 10-of-28 (35.7 percent) for the Maroons, and rebounds were near-even, with UChicago finshing with a 39-38 edge.

The Maroons did outscore the Brits at the free-throw line, making 13-of-19 (68.4 percent) compared to 4-of-5 (80 percent), and UChicago capitalized on points off turnovers, 18-8.

Ryan Lowe led the Brits (1-6) with 20 points and 13 boards, finishing a perfect 9-of-9 from the field and teammates Nathaniel Collins (17 points) and Wheeler (10 points, 11 rebounds) also contributed in the loss.

    Tuesday, Dec. 19: Illinois Wesleyan at UChicago, 7 p.m. CT