CHICAGO – Buoyed by a career-best shooting performance from Brennan McDaniel, the University of Chicago men's basketball team battled Wheaton College all the way on Tuesday night before eventually falling 86-80.
The Maroons dropped to 1-5 on the season while the Thunder improved to 4-1.
From the opening minute onwards, McDaniel put his stamp on the game. The 6-foot-6 junior forward was lights out from all over the floor, starting with an offensive rebound and layup on the game's first possession. Midway through the first half, he sank a three-pointer on three consecutive trips down the floor, with senior guard Mattia Colangelo providing the assist each time. That outburst gave the Maroons a 22-14 lead.
Wheaton rallied back to tie the game at 29-all. Sophomore forward Zach Munson scored a pair of layups to keep UChicago on pace, but the Thunder scored five-straight points to go up 38-33. However, the Maroons got a pair of threes from McDaniel and senior guard Cole Schmitz to head into halftime with a 39-38 advantage.
At the break, McDaniel had sunk all six of his attempts for a total of 18 points in only 12 minutes of play. He surpassed his previous career-high of 16 points established during the 2018-19 season.
Junior forward Dominic Laravie provided two layups to open the second half, and he stayed hot with a total of 19 points in the period. But two Wheaton three-pointers gave the visitors the lead back at 44-43. Thunder guard Nyamye Adom tallied six points in-a-row with athletic drives to the basket to increase the margin to 55-47.
An and-one layup by Laravie got UChicago back on track. After a Schmitz score in the post, the Maroons only trailed 60-58 with 7:31 remaining in the game. The visitors then embarked on a 12-5 run to pull ahead 72-63.
Another McDaniel splash from outside whittled the game down to 80-76 in the final minute. But the Thunder held sway down the stretch, hitting six free throws to win 86-80.
McDaniel racked up 30 points on 11 of 14 shooting from the field. Laravie was next highest on the scoresheet with 23 points on 9-for-17 shooting. Colangelo dished out a career-high seven assists to go with six rebounds.
UChicago shot 44.9 percent on field goals, 31.3 percent from long range (10-32) and 72.7 percent from the free throw line (8-11). Wheaton posted a 51.8 field-goal percentage, 52.9 percent from deep (9-17) and 86.4 percent from the charity stripe (19-22).
The Maroons owned a 37-32 advantage on the boards and both teams turned the ball over 14 times.
- Saturday, Nov. 30 @ 1:00 PM – Washington College at UChicago