Upset Finish for Maroons

The men’s basketball team finished up their season in a solid fashion as they took down No. 5 Wash U in St. Louis.

By Michael Perry

The University of Chicago men’s varsity basketball team wrapped up their season this Saturday with an impressive 81–74 win over rivals No. 5 Wash U (20–5, 12–2 UAA). The Bears won the first matchup earlier this season on a controversial goaltending call against the Maroons as time expired. There was no opportunity for a last-second shot this game, however, as the Maroons outscored the Bears by 10 in the second half to bring the win back to Hyde Park.

With the win, the Maroons finish with a 16–9 overall record and an 8–6 record in the University Athletic Conference. They averaged 83.3 points per game and gave up an average of 77.9 points. Fourth-years Waller Perez and Blaine Crawford led the team in scoring, averaging 15.4 and 15.0 points per game, respectively.

Third-year guard Jake Fenlon lead the team in scoring on Saturday, however, dropping 16 points. Also of note was Fenlon scoring eight of the team’s final 10 points of the first half, keeping the team alive as Wash U only had a three-point lead at halftime.

“I was able to get some good looks,” Fenlon said. “Beating the No. 5 team in the nation was a great way to end the season, especially for the seniors in their last game. Hopefully this can create the momentum for the offseason and we are able to build on it for next year.”

Fenlon made three three-pointers against the Bears, breaking the school’s season record for threes that was set by second-year guard Noah Karras earlier this season. Fenlon finished the season with 76 made on 186 attempts, good for .409 behind the arc. Karras was just behind with 75 made, but only took 168 shots behind the arc, giving him a .446 percentage, the highest on the team.

“It was fun going back and forth with Jake [Fenlon] this year,” said Karras, who also led the entire UAA in three-point percentage. “We are both pretty competitive guys, so we were both better because of it. I will just have to come back next year and try to break the record again.”

With Chicago graduating three of five starters, Fenlon and Karras will likely start together next year. Typically this season, one has started with the other coming off the bench since they are both guards. The squad is also bolstered by third-year Collin Barthel, second-year Justin Jackson, and first-year Jordan Baum, three players who made significant contributions this year.

In his last game, Crawford again led the team with nine rebounds, a fitting way for him to end his career. Chicago outrebounded the Bears 38–30 as well, led by Crawford’s efforts.

The win on Saturday marked the final game in Maroon uniforms for fourth-years Tyler Howard, Alex Gustafson, Perez, and Crawford. These four players won a total of 64 games during their tenure here at the University of Chicago.