BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The University of Chicago men's basketball team competed all the way through with a Top 20 squad in host Illinois Wesleyan, but the No. 19 Titans pulled away late to hand the Maroons an 81-73 loss in Sunday's season opener.
Sophomore Dominic Laravie opened his second season with the Maroons (0-1) with a career-high 19 points on 5 of 10 shooting and added nine rebounds. Laravie's previous career-best was eight.
Both teams traded baskets in the first 10 minutes to play near even to start. Jackson drained a 3-pointer to give UChicago its first and only lead of the game (15-14) at the 10:40 mark, but IWU (1-0) would respond with a made triple of its own.
The Titans would go on to make a 20-9 run over the next six minutes to take their biggest lead of the half at 10, 34-24, with 4:16 to go. But the Maroons used the 3-point shot – two timley makes by Karras and Berhorst – to get back into the game and trail by six, 38-33, at the break.
IWU started the second half on a 6-0 run to build its lead back to 11, 44,-33, but UChicago found its stroke from downtown again – courtesy of Berhorst – to stem the tide. The Titans would go on to lead again by 10, 61-51, with 10 minutes to play, but the Maroons would not allow the hosts to pull away.
Back-to-back layups by Jacobs and Laravie cut that lead back down to six, 61-55, followed by two Laravie free throws to pull UChicago within four, at 61-57. At the 7:27 mark, the Maroons' Cole Schmitz hit a key layup to make it a two-point contest, but again, IWU answered with a layup to push the lead to four.
The difference down the stretch was never less than three. Laravie made two layups late to bring the Maroons within four with 1:37 to play (75-71), but UChicago was unable to convert and the Titans would go on to close out the game at the free-throw line, going a perfect 6 of 6 in the final 38 seconds.
UChicago finished the game shooting 53.2 percent (25 of 47) from the field and made 7 of 17 (41.2 percent) from 3 compared to 46.9 percent (30 of 64) and 3 of 11 (27.3 percent) for the Titans. The Maroons edged IWU on the boards, 31-30, but turned the ball over 19 times to the Titans' nine.
Free-throws were also near-even, with UChicago making 16-for-21 (76.2 percent) compared to IWU's 18-for-21 (85.7 percent) effort.
Sophomore Brennan McDaniel added five rebounds and four assists in a reserve role.
Colin Bonnett scored 19 points to lead IWU in the win and Brady Rose (15 points) and Jason Gregoire added 12.
- Saturday, Nov. 17: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at UChicago, 2 PM CT (Midway Classic)