The Yellowjackets received a wake-up call from Washington University in St. Louis as the Bears handed UR its first loss of the season in a 64-69 Sunday night stunner. The Yellowjackets, who have spent the last two of three weekends on the road, looked a little dull on the court, trailing by seven at the half and shooting a cold 37 percent from the floor. “We were not sharp,” Head Coach Mike Neer said. “We were a little bit off offensively and a little bit off defensively, and when you’re playing a good team on the road that isn’t going to cut it.”Jumping out to a 5-0 lead at tip-off, UR held the Bears at bay for most of the first half until a three-pointer by Mike Grunst put the Yellowjackets at a 19-17 deficit. Building off the three, the Bears went on an 8-0 run before UR could catch its breath.”They really took control of the game during the second part of the first half,” Neer said. “Their bench scored half their points and made a lot of big shots and big plays. We rallied back several times to get within a basket or two but we couldn’t get it over the top.”The Bears continued to pace the Yellowjackets in the second half, driving hard into the lane and forcing defensive fouls on UR. “We tried to make some adjustments in the second half but we were just not shooting well. “It was one of our worst outings of the year,” Neer said.A three-point shot by junior forward Seth Hauben put UR within three points of the Bears with 41 seconds remaining to play, but a foul on senior forward Andy Larkin gave the Bears two free points to increase their lead to five with thirty seconds left on the clock. UR was unable to get anything from intentional fouls, and a layup by junior guard Ryan Mee as time expired set the final score as 69-64.The Washington game was preceded by two wins over the University of Chicago Maroons, one at home in the Palestra and the other in Chicago. Taking the court Sunday afternoon after an emotional and packed Friday night win over Washington in Rochester, the Yellowjackets proved that they didn’t need the big crowds to perform, outplaying Chicago and securing a 22 point lead by halftime. “We didn’t have the big crowd but we played mature, responsible basketball,” Neer said of the 68-44 win.Five days later in the Maroons’ home territory, the Yellowjackets were up for a little more of a challenge as the opposition was able to make some adjustments following their previous defeat. Chicago bloodied UR’s nose a bit, edging the visitors 22-21 at the half. The Yellowjackets rallied in the second half to defeat the Maroons 54-41, but by a significantly smaller margin than five days earlier. “We were able to break the game open in the third quarter,” Neer said. “We were able to dig ourselves out of the hole we dug in Chicago. Unfortunately, we dug ourselves a little too deep in the first half versus Washington in St. Louis and were unable to recover in the second half.”We are a little disappointed by the loss in St. Louis but we are back at home to rest and get some good practices under our belt before heading to Brandeis and NYU this weekend,” he said. Schloss can be reached at

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