January 21, 2016

Squad Works to Remain Undefeated in UAA play

Coming off an undefeated weekend against Carnegie Mellon and Case Western Reserve, the No. 12 Maroons will face off against New York University and Brandeis this weekend. With an impressive 122 record overall and 30 in the UAA, Chicago will look to extend its 11-game winning streak in its first conference weekend on its home court.

Following their one-point victory against Wash U the previous Saturday, the South Siders had yet another close game against Carnegie Mellon on Friday, but were able to secure a 7068 victory. On Sunday, in an offensive showdown, the squad defeated Case 112–100, the Maroons’ highest scoring performance since 1995. 

The high-scoring dual also marked an exciting milestone for fourth-year forward Jordan Smith. With 26 points on the day, Smith surpassed 1,000 career points. He arrived in Cleveland with 999 career points and finished with 1,025, after going 913 from the field to become the 16th highest scorer in Chicago history.

This weekend is sure to be another competitive one for the Maroons, facing off against two conference foes. With a series of incredibly close games across the conference, the UAA title seems to be entirely up for grabs this season. No. 17 NYU is 121 overall and 21 in UAA conference play. With wins against Brandeis and Rochester, the team’s only loss was 

to Emory, 6471, last Friday.

Fourth-year forward Evan Kupferberg has been dominant among the Violets, averaging a whopping 19.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. The South Siders will look to control the boards and play strong pressure defense to lock Kupferberg up.

The theme for this Friday’s game against NYU is Hoops at Hogwarts, which means free Harry Potter T-shirts at the door, a Quidditch game at halftime, and prizes for the winners of the best-dressed contest.   

Second-year guard Jake Fenlon commented on the team’s enthusiasm for Hoops at Hogwarts, “The team is excited. Hopefully the theme attracts a crowd and makes it fun for us to play in front of a supporting fan base.”

Third-year point guard Tyler Howard echoed his teammate, saying, “the team is very excited for Hoops at Hogwarts; it seems like the perfect theme for UChicago. We are going to focus on improving some of our own things as well as getting ready for a very talented NYU team on Friday.”

Brandeis is 77 overall and 12 in UAA conference play. Unlike NYU, Brandeis beat Emory 7668, but fell to Rochester 5377. Brandeis is a high-scoring team, averaging 70.9 points per game. Defense will play a huge role for the Maroons this weekend in order for them to come out on top and continue their winning streak. 

“The team is feeling very confident and we're excited to have to the opportunity to get two more wins,” Howard said. “My role as the point guard is to make sure we are organized and on the same page throughout the game.”

Fenlon elaborated on the team’s feelings going into the weekend: “We’re feeling pretty good going into this weekend. Obviously we have built up some momentum with this win streak, and we are excited for this opportunity to face two more UAA opponents. This is a big weekend for us to continue our success and establish ourselves in conference play.”

Tip-off against NYU will be at 8 p.m. on Friday and against Brandeis at 11 a.m. on Sunday at Ratner Athletic Center.

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