Over the break, the men’s basketball team met two formidable foes. On December 30 the team met with Millikin, and on January 5 the Maroons played longtime athletic rival Wash U
Heading into the game with a winning record of 7 and 3, the Maroons were hungry. Though hungry, the Millikin Big Blue proved to be hungrier. Serving pivotal three-pointers at the onset and offset of the game, the Big Blue edged out the Maroons 84–78 for the win. In the beginning, five of the visiting team’s first eight field goals were three-pointers. Then in the paint, the Maroons were out-rebounded for the first time in their season. Throughout the game, it felt that just as the Maroons would progress for a bit, the Big Blue would catch right back up and stifle all forward advances. Second-year Dominic Laravie scored a career high of 20 points as the Maroons fell short by six points.
Between the Millikin and Wash U games, the Maroons had vacation time. Determined not to let the holidays impair their ability to defeat Wash U, the Maroons made sure to eat well and maintain their exercise regimen. Coming back right after the new year, the Maroons focused on their upcoming competition. The game served as a conference opener for both teams, leaving the Maroons with a 1–0 UAA claim and the Bears with nothing to claim, save a loss. UChicago defeated Wash U with a final score of 88–80. From the onset of the game, fourth-year Justin Jackson scored three long field goals and slammed a dunk to account for 11 of the Maroon’s first 19 points.
Laravie also put up a strong showing once again for the Maroons. While setting his career high in Millikin, he reset the bar scoring 24 points in total, with 16 occurring at a pivotal time in the second half. With some sources going so far as to call him a leader of the half, Laravie had an 11-point run as soon as his teammates were beginning to slow. While the game certainly was one of runs, Laravie and Jackson’s performances gave fuel to the fire of the basketball team.