CHICAGO – The University of Chicago men's basketball team fell victim to a an early second-half offensive burst by Illinois Wesleyan University and couldn't recover in a 76-65 home defeat on Tuesday night.
The Maroons dropped to 4-5 on the season and the Titans improved to 8-2.
Junior guard Noah Karras sank a three-pointer to make it 12-8 through the opening eight minutes of the game. IWU then immediately embarked on a 15-1 run which included an and-one and a trio of three-pointers. The visitors would hold the lead for the rest of the game after going ahead 23-13.
The Titans used airtight perimeter defense to harass and deter UChicago's shooters. Leading scorer Jake Fenlon was not given any space to take his usual shots and the senior guard was held scoreless in the first half. With so much attention given to limiting Fenlon, Karras was the main beneficiary coming off screens for long jumpers. He tallied 13 points in the opening half.
Seven-straight points put the Maroons back within three at 23-20. However, the Titans caught fire from deep, sinking four treys without a miss to stretch the advantage back out to 39-28. At halftime, IWU led 41-31 while making seven of its 14 three-pointers. UChicago was held to 5 of 19 on its long-distance attempts.
Sophomore point guard Jordan Baum got the home side going early on with a long straight-away three at 41-36. But once again, IWU had the answer with a 14-1 surge that included four triples. The visitors held their largest lead of the game at 55-37.
UChicago eventually whittled the deficit down to eight points at 73-65 with 1:25 remaining. But IWU held sway from there to earn the win.
Karras scored a season-high 18 points off the bench. Senior forward Collin Barthel recorded his fourth double-double of the year with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Junior forward Ryan Jacobsen posted 12 points and nine rebounds, and Baum dished out seven assists.
UChicago shot 34.8 percent on field goals, including 8-for-34 on threes (23.5 percent). The Maroons converted 50 percent of their free throws (11-22).
The Titans made 37.9 percent of their field goals, 44.4 percent of their threes (12-27) and 66.7 percent on free throws (14-21). IWU led the rebounding category 47-44 and second-chance points 19-8.
- Friday, Dec. 29 @ 7:00 PM (ET) – UChicago at Wabash College