The Maroons return from their final road swing of UAA play positioned in fourth place. With a 6–5 conference record, Chicago needs to win their next three games to have any shot of reaching the DIII basketball tournament. Coming off of a tough road split last weekend against NYU and Brandeis, the Maroons are set to face off against Carnegie Mellon and Case Western this weekend. Carnegie Mellon sits at the bottom of the UAA table with a 2–9 record in conference and Case Western is currently tied with Chicago for third place in the UAA.
Play from the fourth-years was huge this weekend on the road. Going forward, the Maroons will continue to lean on fourth-years Collin Barthel and Jake Fenlon. Barthel and Fenlon average more than 12 points per game and contribute a large chunk of the Maroons scoring on a nightly basis. Barthel exploded for 37 points against NYU last weekend and followed up his career high with 14 points and 12 rebounds against Brandeis. Barthel, who was named UAA athlete of the week, commented on the weekend by saying, “It was great playing against NYU. We had a bunch of fans and alumni in the crowd who were great all night. We fed off of the energy from the crowd and hit free throws down the stretch to close out the game. Personally, 37 points is awesome and I am going to remember that game forever, but I couldn’t have done it without my teammates—Jake running off of screens, Noah [Karras] ripping threes, and Jordan [Baum] dishing out assists.”
To come out of this weekend’s games with two wins, the Maroons will need contributions from the rest of their roster. Balanced scoring has been a key to the Maroons success this season, but hopefully someone else will step up and assist Barthel and Fenlon.
Looking at Carnegie Mellon and Case Western this season, both teams are very young. However, they have been trending in opposite directions. Case Western is 5–2 in their last seven games, while Carnegie Mellon is 2–5 in their last seven games. The parity of the UAA conference can be seen every weekend. This very parity bit Chicago last weekend with a tough loss to Brandeis, but going forward, the conference schedule favors the Maroons. With its last three games at home, UChicago looks to close out conference play and make a bid for the DIII basketball tournament.
*The Maroons take on Carnegie Mellon at Ratner Athletic Center at 8:30 p.m. on Friday night and face off against Case Western at 11 a.m. on Sunday.*