St. Louis, Mo., Feb. 24, 2018 – The No. 2-ranked Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team had its 14-game winning streak snapped with an 86-77 loss at the University of Chicago in the regular-season finale Saturday at Ratner Athletics Center.
Chicago won five of its last six games to finish 13-12 and 9-5 in the University Athletic Association (UAA), while WashU dropped to 22-3 and 13-1 in the conference.
Senior guard Kevin Kucera had 21 points and six assists, while senior guard Jake Knupp (14 points), senior forward Matt Highsmith (11 points) and senior center David Schmelter (10 points) also scored in double figures. WashU shot 44.8 percent (30-67) from the field but was outrebounded 36-35.
WashU jumped ahead 18-8 in the opening six minutes of play hitting seven of its first 11 shots from the field. Kucera drained back-to-back treys, including a 25-footer from the wing, to extend the advantage to WashU advantage to 26-12. Kucera had 11 points in the opening 10 minutes of play.
Chicago answered with an 11-0 run, but sophomore guard Matt Nester drained a triple from the top of the key to make it 31-23. The Maroons followed with nine-straight points, and then Kucera was left open in the corner for a three to give WashU the lead back at 34-32.
Chicago took a 42-37 lead the locker room after hooting 45.5 percent (15-33) from the field. Jake Fenlon had 16 points to lead Chicago, while Kucera added 14 points. The Bears turned the ball over seven times in the opening half, and the Maroons had a 10-2 advantage in second-chance points.
WashU got the lead down to two (47-45) after four-straight points by Kucera, but the Maroons answered with an 8-0 run to get the lead back to 10 (55-45).
Freshman guard Jack Nolan and Kucera drained back-to-back threes to trim the lead to five, but Chicago's Jordan Baum nailed his sixth three of the game to give Chicago the 71-61 lead with seven minutes left.
Knupp highlighted a 7-0 run with a three from the corner to trim the advantage to 71-68, but that would be as close as the Bears would get.
Fenlon led all scorers with 31 points on 6-of-15 three-point shooting, while Baum had 18 points, seven assists, six rebounds and three steals. Chicago hit 13-of-29 threes and had 20 assists on 30 field goals.
The 2018 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Selection Show is set for Monday, Feb. 26, at 11:30 a.m. (CT). The Bears are making their 21st NCAA Division III and 24th all-time postseason appearance.
• WashU leads the all-time series with Chicago, 51-22, and the Bears split the season series
• Senior forward Andrew Sanders was limited to four points and had his streak of 34-straight games scoring in double figures snapped
• Junior center Marcus Meyer tied a career-high with eight points
• The Bears had their 16-game UAA road win streak snapped