Last-Second Three Pointer Lifts Chicago To Win Over No. 4 Emory
A three-point field goal at the buzzer by University of Chicago senior Matt Johnson lifted the Maroons to an University Athletic Association victory over No. 4-ranked Emory Friday evening at the Ratner Center on the UC campus. Emory saw its overall record slip to 15-2 overall, 4-2 in the UAA following a 103-102 setback to Chicago who upped its record to 10-7, 3-3 in the league.
Johnson's buzzer beater capped off a huge night that saw him register a UC school-record 49 points. He sank 15-of-22 from the floor, including eight-of-13 from three-point range, along with 11 free throws.
The loss negated a solid effort by Emory senior Austin Claunch who totaled a team-high 24 points. Claunch, who scored 17 second-half points, hit nine-of-12 from the floor, including three-of-five from beyond the arc, en route to his eighth outing of 20 or more points this year. Claunch also doled out nine assists and came up with a pair of steals. Sophomore Jake Davis tallied 21 points, connecting on eight-of-13 of his field goal tries, while tying for team honors with five boards. Junior Alex Greven contributed 20 points, sinking seven-of-11 from the field, including three-of-four from distance. Junior Michael Friedberg and freshman Alex Foster rounded out the team's double-figure scorers with 11 points apiece.
After holding a one-point lead at halftime, Emory saw Chicago run off a 19-9 scoring run over the opening 5:49 of the second half to lay claim to a nine-point edge, 64-55. The Eagles still trailed by a 69-60 margin with 13:00 minutes remaining before exploding for an 11-2 blitz, capped by a trey by Greven, that knotted the contest at 71-71 with 10:32 on the clock. Back-to-back treys by UC's Charlie Hughes and Tom Williams extended the home team's advantage to six points but a three-point by Davis drew the Eagles to within 79-76 with 8:51 left. However, five points by Johnson keyed a 10-3 Chicago sprint that gave it an 89-79 cushion with 6:50 remaining. The Maroons still maintained a seven-point advantage, 96-89, with 2:45 on the clock following a pair of makes at the stripe by Johnson, but the Eagles stunned the home crowd with a quick-strike 9-0 spree, started by treys by Greven and Friedberg, followed by a three-point play by Claunch, that gave them a 98-96 edge with 1:17 remaining. Claunch hit a pair of free throws with 27 ticks on the clock that put Emory up by four points, 101-97, but on the ensuing possession Emory was whistled for fouling Johnson on a three-point attempt with seven seconds remaining. Johnson knocked down all three free throws to cut Emory's lead to one point. Johnson scored 29 points in the second half of play. After Emory made the second of two foul shots, with six seconds left, Johnson's shot from about 30 feet out beat the horn and gave UC the win.
Emory concluded the contest sinking a school-record tying 63.3 percent (38-of-60) of its field goal attempts, including 52.2 percent (12-of-23) from three-point range. The Eagles shot a blazing 69.0 percent (20-of-29) from the floor over the final 20 minutes of action including 66.7 percent (six-of-nine) from distance. Chicago was successful on 55.4 percent (36-of-65) of its field goal opportunities and drained 14-of-31 from three-point range. UC finished with a 35-28 advantage in rebounding and held a 14-7 margin in second-chance points.
Emory and Chicago gave the fans at the Ratner Center a high-powered offensive display during the opening 20 minutes of play with the Eagles draining 58.1 percent (18-of-31) of their field goal attempts while the Maroons converted 51.4 percent (18-of-35). Both squads shot well from three-point range with Emory converting 42.9 percent (6-of-14) of their attempts and Chicago 35.3 percent (6-of-17). Jake Davis and Alex Foster each totaled 11 points during the opening stanza to lead the Emory scoring attack with Greven chipping in nine points. Davis hit five-of-six field goal tries while Foster sank all four of his field goal opportunities including a pair from beyond the arc. Chicago was led Johnson who tallied 20 points on eight-of-13 field goal shooting including four-of-eight from distance. Over the final 5:31 of the half, there were six lead changes with Emory being up by as many as four points, 36-32, with 4:23 on the clock following a basket by freshman Mike Florin. After a triple by Johnson, his first of 11 straight UC points, put the Maroons up by one, five straight points by Foster gave the Eagles an four-point edge, 41-37, with 2:44 on the clock. A three pointer by Johnson with 15 ticks on the clock gave UC a one-point advantage, by a triple by Florin with three seconds left enabled Emory to take a 46-45 lead into halftime.
Emory returns to action on Sunday when it plays at Washington University (13-4, 5-1 UAA).