Men?s basketball achi-eved a split in two critical University Athletic Association road games last weekend, including a victory against Washington University. The Yellowjackets now stand at 11-7 overall and 4-4 in the UAA as it heads into its final stretch of the season.
The Yellowjackets took on Washington University in St. Louis, which was ranked third in the country, Friday, Jan 26.
UR never trailed and built a 37-27 lead as the teams headed into halftime. In the second half, Washington made a run and closed the lead to within five points at 55-50.
But the men held their ground. Senior captain Jeff Larson hit a huge three-pointer to give the team some breathing room and the Yellowjackets went on to win 66-56. Freshman Andy Larkin dominated inside with 18 points and 19 rebounds to lead the squad in both categories.
Sophomore point guard Tim Sweeney chipped in with 13 points and five rebounds, while Larson scored in double figures with 10.
?This was a great win. We never trailed in the game,? head coach Mike Neer said. ?When they made their run, Jeff hit a big three and we then remained composed down the stretch.?
?We played hard and attacked from the very beginning,? he added.
Neer also praised the ability of the UR men to be a strong inside force while maintaining their effective offense.
?We out-rebounded them and grabbed 17 offensive rebounds, which was the key to the game,? he said. ?We were very aggressive and did not have any long scoring droughts.?
Coming off the huge win the Yellowjackets traveled to the University of Chicago, the defending UAA champs.
Unfortunately for UR, Chicago was not very hospitable. The Yellowjackets suffered a 35-70 setback. Chicago?s victory was their 39th straight home win.
From the outset, Chicago dominated the game, through the play of its big imposing frontline. By halftime, Chicago had accumulated an insurmountable 41-15 lead.
Throughout the game, Neer felt that a lot of UR?s problems had to do with the play of Chicago. ?I can?t really fault our kids,? Neer said. ?Chicago just had one of those days where absolutely everything was clicking for them. They are talented, big and experienced and we never got on track.?
Larkin led the Yellowjackets with nine points and eight rebounds. Freshman Makedo Wisseh was a highlight off the bench with two points and six rebounds in limited action.
UR has another important road trip coming up as it heads to Emory University and Carnegie Mellon University this weekend.
?We are going to try and take it one game at a time.? Neer said. ?We should be especially ready for the Emory game because they beat us here so it would be nice to get a win at their place.?