CHICAGO – Mack Montague scored a career high 30 points and the University of Rochester defeated 11th-ranked University of Chicago, 84-76, at the Ratner Athletic Center on Sunday afternoon.
With the victory, Rochester(12-6 overall) is tied for second place with Chicago (14-4) in the University Athletic Association race. Emory University, which defeated UC on Friday night, leads the way at 6-1. Rochester and Chicago are both 5-2. NYU, No. 22 in the current poll, is 4-3.
The Yellowjackets have won four in a row and five of their last six. UR defeated Washington University, 75-73, on Friday night in St. Louis. Sunday's win over Chicago gives Rochester its first weekend sweep in the Midwest in 24 years. The 1992 team defeated Chicago, then went on to a win over Washington. That Rochester team advanced to the NCAA Division III National Championship Game for the second time in three years.
The UAA race could get clearer – or cloudier – in the coming weekend. Washington comes to Rochester on Friday night while Chicago goes to Emory. On Super Bowl Sunday, Rochester hosts Chicago with Washington at Emory.
Montague was joined in the double figure scoring column by three teammates. Sam Borst-Smith scored 14 points, had four rebounds, four assists, and four steals. Michael Mangan scored 13 points, including seven of eight from the foul line (all the foul shots in the final two minutes). He added four assists. Jared Seltzer scored 11 points. Dylan Peretz led Rochester on the boards with nine rebounds.
Alex Voss scored a team-high 25 points for Chicago and grabbed 11 rebounds. Tyler Howard scored 12 points and handed out five assists. Blaine Crawford added 13 points in 17 minutes off the bench.
This was the third time this season Montague scored more than 20 points in a game. His previous career high was 23 points – scored in a 78-75 loss at Emory in January. On Sunday, he sank nine of 17 from the floor, six of 11 outside the arc, and six of eight from the foul line. He also had five steals.
Rochester went on a 13-2 flurry midway through the first half to surge into a 29-18 lead. Mangan made a layup. Zack Ayers converted a traditional three-point play. Seltzer drove for a layup. Borst-Smith and Montague both sank three-pointers. It was 41-31 at halftime.
With the defense and rebounding playing a big role early in the second half, Rochester extended its lead. The Yellowjackets used a 14-2 run to build a 22-point edge, 60-38, with more than 14 minutes to play. Montague scored eight of the 14 points. Borst-Smith had four points and Ryan Clamage – one of three Chicago-area players on Rochester – drove for a layup after a steal.
A layup from Mangan – another Chicagoland native (along with Tucker Knox) – kept the bulge at 22 before Chicago made a serious run and climbed back into the game. The Maroons outscored Rochester 18-4 over four minutes and narrowed the gap to eight points, 66-58.
Voss did much of the scoring. He scored 11 consecutive UC points, including back to back to back three-pointers. His scoring surge was interrupted briefly – first by a Mangan layup and then by one from Seltzer. When Voss hit a long-distance three from left wing, Chicago was down by eight and 7:31 left on the clock.
Seltzer hit a banker off left wing. Montague was gifted two free throws (he made both) after the Chicago bench was hit with a technical foul. Then Borst-Smith sank a jumper inside the key. That got it back to 14, 72-58. UC did get it down to eight, and then to seven points twice, the last time on Howard's layup with 38 seconds left.
Rochester made eight of nine from the line in the closing minutes – seven by Mangan and two from Clamage.