CHICAGO – The University of Chicago men's basketball team could not find enough shots to overcome a slow start as the Maroons fell 72-52 to visiting Brandeis University on Friday night at the Ratner Athletics Center.
When the teams last met, UChicago came from behind to force overtime. On this occasion, however, that rally never arrived as the Judges kept the scoreboard ticking while the Maroons struggled to find their habitual touch from beyond the arc.
The Maroons shot just 32.7 percent from the floor and posted a 5 of 23 tally from beyond the arc despite creating a number of open chances, while the Judges buried 12 threes at a 57.1 percent clip. The shooting numbers had an outsized impact as little separated the teams on the glass (39-37 in favor of Brandeis) or in protecting the ball (10 turnovers and three steals apiece).
The victory gives Brandeis (14-9 overall) a 7-5 conference record, drawing them even with UChicago, who fell to 7-5 in UAA competition and 14-9 overall.
Sophomore forward Dominic Laravie was the bright spot for the Maroons with 15 points and seven rebounds. Junior guard Cole Schmitz bagged 10 boards while senior forward Ryan Jacobsen brought down eight.
Although UChicago struck first, it was Brandeis that took the early initiative, pushing up the floor and attacking off the dribble. The Maroons kept it tight at first, remaining within one after a basket from junior guard Mattia Colangelo made it 10-9. However, the Judges found their rhythm right as UChicago hit a rough patch, resulting in an 8-0 Brandeis run over the next three minutes. When Colangelo hit a floater to stop the skid and first-year guard Brandon Beckman created space for a driving jumper on the next possession, it seemed like the Maroons might pull even near the midway point. Instead, the Judges continued to assert themselves as UChicago worked hard to create shots that wouldn't fall.
The three-point line hurt the hosts on both ends of the floor, as while Brandeis converted long-range shots on the way to a 6-for-10 first half mark, the Maroons missed their first nine attempts before senior guard Justin Jackson connected on the tenth with 2:33 remaining. UChicago would end the half 2-of-12 from behind the arc and 11 of 30 overall (36.7 percent), which along with a 7-3 turnover disadvantage left the Maroons facing a 40-26 deficit.
Senior guard Noah Karras knocked down a three for the first score out of the break, and Laravie followed up with a triple of his own to make it a single-digit margin at 40-32. Fending off the Maroon advance, Brandeis responded by quickly extending its lead to 14 points.
UChicago maintained its energy, as best displayed when Baum hauled in a rebound and fired a pass up the court to a streaking Jackson, who threw down a two-handed slam. The Maroons got back to an eight-point deficit with a stop and another basket, but missed shots continued to limit their comeback potential as the Judges incrementally built their cushion. A string of Brandeis threes took the sting out of the game as the deficit, the clock and a persistently unfriendly rim put the Maroons in a difficult position down the stretch.
- Sunday, Feb. 17 @ 12:00 PM – New York University at UChicago