Kicking off their UAA season, the UChicago men’s basketball team failed to secure a win against rival Wash U. The Saturday game was the first of the Maroons’ conference season. The game was exceptionally close, with the Maroons losing by one point (66–65). Despite the loss, fourth-year Jordan Baum ended the game as the top scorer with 27 points compared to Wash U’s Jack Nolan’s 23 points.
The game opened with a decisive play from third-year Brennan McDaniel, who immediately scored after the initial possession. This set the stage for the Maroons’ momentum as they continued to score eight three-point plays. The Bears were left in the dust, with Baum taking a key role in scoring 11 points within the first half. By the end of the half, the Maroons led by 11 points.
However, the Bears picked up speed in the second half, cinching the gap and taking the lead from the Maroons. Nolan and Baum dueled it out, securing point after point as the half continued. Baum secured 16 points as Nolan took 15 on his own. With only eight minutes remaining, the game was left with a one-point margin in favor of the Maroons. Nolan captured the Bears’ lead with a trey before Baum followed with a perfect layup. This energy continued for the remaining time with Baum and Nolan at each other, securing play after play. With less than a minute left, the Bears took the lead and the Maroons failed to recapture the lead.
Despite the loss, the Maroons displayed an excellent game, especially from three upperclassmen: Baum, McDaniel, and fourth-year Cole Schmitz. McDaniel reflected on the game: “Even though we lost a tough one on Saturday, I think we can build on the positives. We made big improvements on the defensive side of the ball and battled to the very end. Now, we need to focus on carrying these things over to our upcoming games against Carnegie Mellon and Case Western to help put us in a good position in the UAA.”
The Maroons will play their next conference game on Friday, traveling to Pittsburgh, PA, to play against Carnegie Mellon University.