WHEATON, Ill. – A roaring start from the University of Chicago men's basketball team proved too much for Wheaton College as the visiting Maroons dealt the Thunder their first loss of the season in a 90-60 rout on Thursday night.
UChicago (4-2 record) seized the game early, scoring 20 straight points while keeping No. 18-ranked Wheaton (5-1 record) scoreless for almost six minutes during a pivotal stretch midway through the first half. Although the Thunder's play improved as the game went on, the margin was simply too great and the Maroons secured the win comfortably.
Six different Maroons scored in the double digits, including four of the five starters. While junior guard Cole Schmitz and senior forward Ryan Jacobsen led the way with 12 apiece, junior guard Jordan Baum turned in the performance of the night with a team-high eight rebounds, eight assists, and five steals to go along with his 10 points. Senior guard Justin Jackson and sophomore forward Brennan McDaniel combined for 22 points off the bench on 9 of 14 shooting.
UChicago went 33-for-70 from the field and hit 12 of its 37 attempts from beyond the arc. The Maroons made the most of their trips to the line, sinking 12 of 13 free throws. The visitors also won the battle on the boards 43-35 and forced 22 turnovers while giving up 16.
After trading baskets for the first five minutes, UChicago held a slight lead, but the next five minutes would see that lead balloon to 21 points. The Maroon defense shut down the Thunder attack, while on the other end, UChicago racked up 14 points from turnovers. Although Wheaton broke out of its dry spell with 9:33 remaining, the visitors' advantage continued to grow, peaking at 35 points as the Maroons led 42-17 with five minutes remaining.
The first half concluded with UChicago ahead 52-25. The Maroons had shot 47.6 percent from the field on 42 attempts, with 26 rebounds and 14 second chance points. The Thunder only attempted 26 field goals and made eight, hampered by their 17 first-half turnovers.
Play resumed with more of the same as senior guard Noah Karras drained a three on the first possession of the second period. Wheaton mustered a 12-2 run in the early going, but even after that effort still trailed by 20 points. UChicago's shooting cooled off and the pace of the game slowed as the Thunder's offense settled into more of a rhythm, yet the Maroons remained in control of the proceedings.
As the last minutes ticked away, both teams capitalized on the early-season opportunity to bring players off the bench and experiment with lineup combinations. In the end, 14 different Maroons saw action.
- Saturday, Dec. 1 @ 1:00 PM (ET) – UChicago at Kalamazoo College