NEW YORK – After taking the lead just over a minute into the game, the University of Chicago men's basketball team fended off New York University for the next 39 minutes to earn a wire-to-wire 74-68 road win on Sunday.
Having recovered from their first conference loss on Friday, the Maroons now hold a 10-5 record (4-1 University Athletic Association). The Violets could not procure its first UAA victory, dropping to 6-10 (0-5 UAA).
UChicago constructed an early cushion and managed to keep the opposition at arm's length despite NYU's control of the glass at both ends of the floor. The Violets outrebounded their guests 44-30 with 14 offensive boards – it marked only the second time that the Maroons have lost the rebounding battle this season. Yet although NYU made it a one-possession game several times in the second half, UChicago stayed out in front with the help of a long-range assault that saw the Maroons sink 11 three-pointers at a 40.7 percent clip. UChicago's defense supplemented the shooting by forcing 22 turnovers that led to 17 points.
At the heart of the team's offensive success was an efficient display from junior guard Jordan Baum, whose 23 points came on 8-of-13 (61.5 percent) shooting with a 5-of-7 tally from beyond the arc. Baum also pitched in five rebounds and two assists.
Senior guards Justin Jackson and Max Jacobs made substantial contributions from the bench. Jackson racked up 13 points and five rebounds while Jacobs tacked on another nine points. Junior guard Cole Schmitz netted 11 points to go with three rebounds and three assists, while senior forward Ryan Jacobsen led the team with six rebounds.
UChicago took the game to the hosts from the opening tip with a 10-0 run that included a pair of threes from Schmitz. NYU's first basket, coming just over four minutes into the contest, precipitated a 9-3 run that cut the Maroon advantage to four.
The visitors stretched their lead again, with Jackson hitting a three and sinking a turnaround hook in the post to give his team a 23-11 lead with nine minutes to go in the first half. This would be the Maroons' largest lead of the period, as the Violets worked hard on the boards and kept their deficit in the single digits. This effort did not stop Jackson from drawing a foul on a put-back score, then gathering his own missed free throw and going up to score again, a sequence that netted him four of his team-high nine first-half points.
After Baum gathered a loose ball and stepped back for a three-pointer that put UChicago 10 ahead with 2:48 left, NYU scored five straight points to trim the margin. The result was a 36-30 halftime tally in the Maroons' favor.
The status quo held through the beginning of the second half until a Maroon breakthrough six minutes in. Sophomore forward Brennan McDaniel sank a three, then not long after fed Jackson a lob for a strong inside finish. On the next possession, Baum grabbed a rebound, pushed the ball up the floor, and pulled up from three to make it 50-38, equaling UChicago's largest lead of the day.
Once again NYU refused to let the game slip away, chopping its disadvantage from 12 points to six before an offensive rebound set up a Violet three-pointer that made it a one-possession game at 51-48 with 10 minutes remaining.
NYU hung tight despite the occasional Maroon three-pointer widening the gap. The Violets got in reach one last time, sinking a transition three with 1:36 left that made it 66-63. After a UChicago miss the next time down the floor, it seemed like NYU would have another chance to tie, but Jackson fought hard for the offensive rebound and drew a foul. The senior converted both ends of the one-and-one to extend the lead to five points.
The Maroons got a stop, but conceded a quick layup after a turnover. The lingering Violets pressed hard to win the ball back with the score 68-65. Baum, however, absorbed the brunt of the defense and drew a foul. At the line for a one-and-one with 31 seconds remaining, he hit both free throws, placing the Maroons in relative safety at 70-65. When NYU launched one more three in a bid to stay alive, Jacobsen came down with the rebound to secure the game.
- Friday, Jan. 25 @ 8:00 PM – Case Western Reserve University at UChicago