Balanced Effort Allows UChicago Men’s Basketball to Run Away From Carnegie Mellon, 86-70

Max Jacobs
Max Jacobs

CHICAGO – The University of Chicago men's basketball team jumped out to a big lead and effectively countered a second-half surge to win comfortably 86-70 over Carnegie Mellon University on Friday night.

The Maroons improved to 11-12 on the season and 7-5 in the University Athletic Association (UAA). The Tartans fell to 6-17 overall (2-10 UAA).

Things went south quickly for the Tartans in the early going. The visitors turned the ball over six times in the opening five minutes as UChicago's defense hampered them at every turn. CMU also struggled to convert around the hoop and shot 1-for-11 to start the game. The Maroons took full advantage of the cold streak and jumped out to a 14-2 lead.

Sophomore guard Cole Schmitz got rolling and scored six-straight points for the Maroons in the post to put the team up 18-4. While the Tartans began to find their offensive rhythm as time went on, UChicago still held sway with a double-digit advantage. Senior guard Jake Fenlon canned a three-pointer and then threw down a dunk to make it 29-16.

By halftime, the hosts were in control at 40-26. UChicago shot 50 percent from the field in the half while limiting CMU to 30 percent shooting. Fenlon led the way with eight points.

After Fenlon canned another trey at 45-29, the Tartans started to climb their way back into the game, starting with an 8-0 run. A layup from sophomore forward Sam Sustacek broke the streak. Junior forward Collin Barthel then stepped outside the arc for a long jumper of his own later at 55-45.

Carnegie Mellon tightened up its defense and gummed up UChicago's offensive spacing, then kept scoring on the other end to draw within three points at 57-54. However, the Maroons awoke just in time. Four-straight points from junior forward Ryan Jacobsen and a three by sophomore guard Jordan Baum capped a quick 9-0 run that the Tartans would not recover from.

By the time Sustacek scored inside with just under six minutes left, UChicago capped a 15-2 run and expanded the lead to 72-56. The visitors were not able to get within single digits the rest of the way.

The wire-to-wire victory featured 52.5 percent shooting from the field by the Maroons, compared to 40 percent by CMU. The Maroons converted 34.8 percent from three-point range (8-23) and 66.7 percent on free throws (16-24). The Tartans hit 21.1 percent from deep (4-19) and 93.3 percent from the charity stripe (14-15). Rebounds were even at 37-37, with assists greatly in UChicago's favor 16-8.

A balanced scoring effort saw six different players with at least eight points. Barthel posted a team-best 13 points and eight rebounds. Jacobsen factored in with 12 points and five rebounds. Fenlon and junior guard Noah Karras put up 11 points apiece. Junior guard Max Jacobs added nine points while getting the nod in the starting lineup. Sustacek tallied eight points and seven rebounds, and Baum submitted a well-rounded six-point, seven-assist, six-rebound effort.

NEXT GAME:

  • Sunday, Feb. 18 @ 11 AM – Case Western Reserve University at UChicago