In a rousing success of a weekend, the UChicago men’s basketball team evened up their record to 12–12. With the beginning of their three-game home stand this weekend, the Maroons were facing two matches this weekend against Carnegie Mellon and Case Western Reserve, teams against whom they split the previous matchups. Overall, the Maroons were scorching the nets of Ratner this weekend.
In their first match of the weekend against the Carnegie Mellon Tartans, the Maroons took advantage of Carnegie’s slow start. In the opening five minutes of the game, the Maroons’ relentless defense forced a staggering six turnovers. The Tartans struggled out of the gates and were unable to cope with the pressure. The Maroons were able to keep up this pressure throughout the first half to increase their lead to a 14-point margin heading into the halftime break. However, the Tartans came out firing in the second half, almost as if the first half had never happened. They continually cut into the lead throughout the second half, coming within three points of the Maroons, 57–54. Then suddenly, the Maroons woke up and went on an absolute tear. They ended up going on a back-breaking 15–2 run to take back control and to stall the comeback from Carnegie Mellon. After this run, the Tartans never threatened the lead again and the Maroons closed off a wire-to-wire victory with a final score of 86–70.
After defeating cellar dwellers Carnegie Mellon, the Maroons had the chance to exact revenge on Case Western after their tight loss in Ohio earlier this year. The team was up for the challenge from the start, seizing control halfway through the first half with the teams within one point. Then the Maroons went on a vital 16–4 run to establish their dominance on the game. Heading into the break, UChicago was up by eight over the Spartans from Ohio. The second half was more of the same with the Maroons unable to miss and extending their lead to a game-high 26 points with only five minutes left in the game. Fourth-year Collin Barthel led the way for the Maroons with 26 points on a very efficient 12 shots.
“We had a really solid, all-around game on Sunday against Case. It was fun to see the whole team firing on all cylinders. I’m glad the seniors [Ryan Shearmire and Porter Veach] got a chance to play as well. Now it’s time for us to start getting ready for Wash on Saturday,” first-year Brennan McDaniel said.
The upcoming match is the end-of-season tilt against the No. 2 team in the country, Wash U. With the Maroons narrowly losing by one point in St. Louis earlier this year, the boys are looking to pull off the upset with the home crowd behind them at 3 p.m. on Saturday in Ratner.