November 21, 2016

Maroons Bounce Back From Season Opener

The Maroons dominated in their first away game of the season, never trailing in their 78–68 game against Lake Forest College. This win marks the first of the season for the South Siders and gives the team high spirits for their game against Illinois Tech (IIT).  

The game started off very efficiently for the team, with fourth-year forward Waller Perez knocking down a jumper in the first play of the game. With Lake Forest scoring to tie the game at 2–2, the score was the closest it would be for the rest of the game. 

From there, the Maroon defense took over, not allowing the home team to convert field goals for the next six minutes and building a 14–4 lead in the process. The bigger lead was also due in part to the offense moving the ball around, as all of the starting five scored during the run. Chicago continued to score efficiently and lock down defensively and ended the half leading 39–24.

The second half was much closer, with the Foresters cutting the lead to as small as one. Despite this, sharp outside shooting from second-year guard Noah Karras and clutch free throws from third-year forward Collin Barthel iced the game for the Maroons. Barthel was also the team’s leading scorer for the game, with a career high of 20 points.

Fourth-year Blaine Crawford pounded the boards all night, and it paid off, as he led the team with a solid 10 rebounds. Fourth-year guard Tyler Howard also stuffed the stat sheet, with the game-high of five assists to go with 15 points and five rebounds. First-year forward Sam Sustacek reflected on the work of his teammates and looked forward to the improvement of the team in the future.

“Our starting unit played with a lot of confidence, and that translated into a constant lead. Lake Forest hit some tough shots, but we never got discouraged. We stayed disciplined and carried the lead to the finish,” Sustacek said. “With our first win under our belt, there’s a lot of excitement and energy at practices. We’re excited to build on the good things and work towards being even better.”

The Maroons look to improve to 2–1 when they face off against IIT today. The last time these teams squared off was last season in January, when Chicago dominated and walked off with an 85–65 victory. Time will tell whether the outcome will be similar this season.

The home game against IIT will start at 8 p.m. It will be the final game for the team before the Thanksgiving break.