CHICAGO – A back-and-forth UAA matchup went in favor of the host University of Chicago by an 85-80 score, winning over the University of Rochester men's basketball team on Friday night at the Ratner Athletics Center.
The win pushes Chicago to 2-0 in the UAA and 9-4 overall on the season, while Rochester drops its second game of the year (11-2) and is 1-1 in the conference.
The Maroons shot the ball well late in the contest, using three straight 3-pointers in the final three minutes to rally and grab a lead. UC jumped out to as big as a 12-point lead in the opening half, only to see it evaporate and turn into a Rochester 10-point edge midway through the second half.
Rochester's Ryan Clamage, a Chicago native, led all scorers with 19 points in the contest, shooting 9-13 from the floor, adding six rebounds. Sophomore Ryan Algier scored a career-high 15 points, also securing 4 rebounds and 3 blocks in the loss. Patrick Benka made four 3-pointers and finished with 12 points, while Andrew Lundstrom ended with 13 points and six boards.
Chicago had four players also in double-figures, led by Noah Karras who had 17 points, 14 of which came in the second half. Brennan McDaniel scored 16 points, all in the first half, and added a game-high seven rebounds. Cole Schmitz also scored 16 and Jordan Baum had 14 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds.
The Maroons were able to jump out to an early 9-2 edge in the opening three minutes and led throughout the opening 20 minutes. McDaniel opened the game with a 3-pointer from the top of the key and ended the first half a perfect 5-5 from the floor, including four made shots from long range.
Chicago's lead got to as big as 12 in the opening 20 minutes, leading 25-13 with 8:52 remaining after Baum sank a deep 3-pointer from the right wing.
The Yellowjackets began to chip away in the closing minutes of the half, and following a 10-2 run, trimmed the deficit to just one after a Lundstrom 3-pointer from straight on. Brendan O'Shea also drained a long ball and Jacob Wittig and Clamage added layups in the spurt.
Back-to-back UC baskets built the lead back up to five, but Rochester's Clamage closed the half with a breakaway follow-up of his own missed layup to send his team to the locker room down three, 40-37.
After McDaniel's first miss of the game started the second half for Chicago, Rochester turned the tables and shot the lights out over the next seven minutes, going on a 19-6 run to take a 10-point lead, up 56-46 with 12:34 left.
UR was 8-12 from the floor in the stretch, with Benka, Lundstrom, and O'Shea hitting triples, while Algier and Clamage each added two buckets inside.
Chicago's Ryan Jacobsen then scored four straight points to get the margin back to six, where it would hover for the next four minutes.
With under seven minutes to play, Karras hit a jumper and then sank a shot from long range to cut the deficit to two, only to see UR's Trent Noordsij answer with a 3-pointer of his own. UC's Dominic Laravie then hit a big 3-pointer and that was followed by a Max Jacobs layup and suddenly the teams were tied at 70 with 4:50 on the clock.
Clamage regained the lead for Rochester with a contested three, one with the shot clock winding down, and then used one of Wittig's nine assists to score a layup to put the visitors back up by five.
With 2:33 left, Karras started the key run of the game with a three, making the score 77-75. The Chicago defense stiffened, holding Rochester to one shot for back-to-back possessions, allowing Baum and Karras to each hit 3-pointers, putting Chicago up four with 72 seconds remaining.
Another UR miss and a big offensive rebound killed over 30 seconds off the clock in the final minute, with Baum sinking a tough angle jumper from the corner to edge the Maroons ahead by six.
Benka hit a fast break 3-pointer to immediately get the lead back down to three, but Jacobs hit two clutch free throws with 19 seconds left to seal the victory.
Both teams shot identical 50% games from the floor, each making 31-62 attempts. Both also hit 12 3-pointers, with UR making 12-24 (50%) and Chicago sinking 12-28 (43%). Neither team shot well from the charity stripe either, with the Yellowjackets making just 6-11 (55%) and Chicago hitting 11-18 (61%).
Rochester returns to action on Sunday, completing the weekend road trip with a game against Washington University in St. Louis, with the game tipping at 11:30 am central time. Chicago, meanwhile, remains home and hosts Emory University on Sunday.