Maroon Men’s Basketball Tripped Up by Case Western Reserve, 85-80

Jordan Baum
Jordan Baum

CHICAGO – The University of Chicago men's basketball team fell victim to clutch shooting by Case Western Reserve University in the final minutes on Friday night, as the visitors emerged with an 85-80 victory.

The Maroons dropped to 11-6 overall and 4-2 in the University Athletic Association (UAA). The Spartans moved to 9-8 and 2-4 in conference action.

CWRU came into the day shooting 33.5 percent from three-point range. But the Ratner Athletics Center proved hospitable for the visitors, who proceeded to convert 14 of 32 from deep (43.8 percent). The Spartans were particularly torrid in the second half, making 9 of 16 (56.3 percent).

UChicago kept pace much of the night by swishing 12 of 31 from beyond the arc (38.7 percent). Junior point guard Jordan Baum owned the hot hand all evening with a career-high seven three-pointers made on his way to 21 points. Junior guard Cole Schmitz went 3-for-6 from deep as well to tally 11 total points.

Early in the game, Case seemed inclined to force UChicago into taking long-range jumpers with an aggressive zone defense. The Maroons countered with fast, crisp passing that eventually exposed holes in the zone. Six-straight points by sophomore forward Dominic Laravie staked his team to a 22-18 advantage. Back-to-back triples from Baum and Schmitz expanded the margin to 28-18.

The Spartans picked up their defensive intensity from that point and the Maroons started to struggle offensively. As the final minutes of the half ticked down, CWRU tied the game up at 32-32. Junior guard Mattia Colangelo immediately counted with a three of his own. As the first-half buzzer sounded, the two sides were knotted at 37-37.

Laravie was the big performer in the first half with 14 points. The sophomore sank mid-to-close range jumpers and drew fouls in the post.

The second half played out closely as neither side could pull away from the other. UChicago scored on four-straight trips down the floor to retake the lead at 52-49. Baum bookended the streak with three-pointers from the wing. However, Case remained undeterred and kept hitting shots as well. Luck was on the visitors' side in several instances, with one long bank shot and another that clanked off the back iron and fell through the hoop.

Trailing 68-64, Schmitz and Baum hit threes followed by a short jumper by senior guard Max Jacobs to vault back ahead 72-68. Another Schmitz three gave UChicago its last lead of the night at 76-75 with 2:34 remaining. The Spartans came through with another long-range bomb, then a steal and layup going the other way that drew a foul. CWRU then made four free throws in the final minute to stave off a Maroon comeback.

Overall field-goal percentages were nearly equal (46 percent to 45.8 percent). The Spartans outrebounded the hosts 40-34 while turnovers were 10-9.

Alongside Baum and Schmitz's outputs, Laravie contributed 17 points and six rebounds. Senior forward Ryan Jacobsen posted 11 points and seven rebounds as well.

NEXT GAME:

  • Sunday, Jan. 27 @ 12:00 PM – Carnegie Mellon University at UChicago