NYU Bests Second Straight Top-25 Foe with 85-68 Win vs. #21 Chicago

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The New York University men's basketball team defeated the #21-ranked (D3hoops.com) University of Chicago 85-68 on Sunday afternoon, January 25, at the Jerome S. Coles Sports Center in Manhattan. The win was the Violets' second-straight victory over a Top-25 team.
NYU (12-4, 3-2 University Athletic Association) held the lead for most of the first half against Chicago (11-5, 3-2 UAA) and by as many as nine points on two separate occasions. The Maroons were able to get hot down the stretch – they shot 11-18 from beyond the arc in the first half – and went on a 15-4 run to take a 47-44 lead at the break.

"We knew they were capable of making threes," said NYU Assistant Coach Nelson Albino. "We wanted to make them shoot contested threes, and we didn't do a good enough job of getting through their screens in the first half.

"I thought our game plan was correct in the first half; we just didn't execute it," continued Albino. "We considered halftime adjustments, but we decided against it, stuck with the game plan and did it better and harder in the second half."
The Violets came out firing in the second half, jumped out to a 22-4 run and never trailed again. NYU's defense held Chicago to 0-9 from long range in the second half as the Maroons finished 23-of-61 (37.7 percent) from the floor overall.
"Offensively, we're in a rhythm," added Albino. "I think we have a better understanding as a team of how we can score. Defensively, beating two Top-25 teams this weekend shows that we have the ability to guard a multiple of ways."
The Violets finished 11-22 (50.0 percent) from three-point range, led by Hakeem Harris. The junior guard shot 6-11 from three and 8-15 overall en route to a game-best 24 points. In addition, Harris produced a highlight reel play on one of his two assists, a behind-the-back helper while driving to the basket that was put away by Evan Kupferberg at 13:25 in the second half for two points.
"Hakeem brings a consistent scoring threat from the perimeter," Nelson said. "His ability to shoot is terrific, as it allows our big guys more space and time underneath. Evan is getting easier shots and cannot be double-teamed as much because the defense has to spread out more."
- Kupferberg was the game's second-leading scorer, finishing with 22 points on 11-12 shooting (91.7 percent). The junior forward also added five rebounds and two assists.
Costis Gontikas registered a game-high-tying 10 rebounds. The junior center chipped in eight points and a game-best two blocks.
Iyoha Agho finished 3-5 from beyond the arc, scoring nine points in 14 minutes.
Alec Papesch contributed seven points and six rebounds in 15 minutes.
Max Ralby chipped in five points, six rebounds and two steals. The junior guard also led all players with a game-high seven assists. Ross Udine had six helpers, as well, along with five points.
The Violets will be back in action on Friday night, January 30, when they host UAA-rival University of Rochester at Coles for a scheduled 8:00 pm tip. Live stats and live video will be available. Friday night's doubleheader between NYU and the Yellowjackets will also be the first Violet Nation Giveaway Day of the basketball season.