The Case Western Reserve University men's basketball team lost the opening game of its University Athletic Association road weekend, suffering a 99-73 loss at the University of Chicago on Friday night.
Chicago raised its record to 12-7 overall and improved to .500 in the conference with a 4-4 record. The Spartans dropped to 5-14 overall with a 0-8 UAA record.
Despite the loss, both junior forward T.J. Duckett and junior guard Colin Zucker notched career-highs for points in a game. Duckett finished the game shooting nine-of-11 from the field for 25 points, and added 10 rebounds for his second-straight double-double and eighth overall this season. Zucker was nine-of-15 from the field overall, including four-of-eight from behind the arc, and finished with a career-high 24 points.
However, the Spartans were unable to withstand a historic performance from Chicago sophomore guard Noah Karras, who set a conference record with 11 made three pointers, and finished with 39 points overall. Ryan Jacobsen added a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Jake Fenlon (12 points), Justin Jackson (11 points) and Jordan Baum (10 points) completed a Maroons' starting lineup that all scored in double-figures in the game.
Duckett got the Spartans off to a strong start on Friday night, making his first five shots from the floor and scoring 11 points within the first six minutes of the game, including three on an and-one with 14:20 to play, that gave CWRU a 14-12 lead. Chicago would eventually take a six-point advantage with 7:05 remaining in the half, 26-20, but Zucker scored eight of the next 10 points in the game, including a pair of threes, to even the score at 28-28 with 5:09 left. However, Case Western Reserve's shooting went cold, as the Spartans did not make another field goal for the remainder of the half, and Chicago was able to burst out to a 43-30 lead by halftime. Chicago shot a blistering eight-of-14 (57.1%) from three-point range in the first half of the game.
Zucker finished the first half with 13 points, and Duckett scored 11, as the duo combined to shoot nine-for-12 from the floor over the first 20 minutes. However, the rest of the team combined to go just two-of-19 in the first period, as the squad faced a 13 point deficit heading into the second frame.
Chicago continued to expand its lead in the second half, with Karras scoring 27 points over the final 20 minutes of play, making seven of his nine three point attempts during the ultimate stanza. The Maroons would lead by as many as 31 in the period, en route to the 26 point victory.
The Spartans will be back in action on Sunday, February 5th, wrapping up a brief two-game road trip against the sixth-ranked Washington University (Mo.) Bears. Tip-off in St. Louis, Missouri on Sunday is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET.