Senior Troy Ruths scored a game-high 26 points to lead the No. 7 Washington University in St. Louis men’s basketball team to a 76-50 win in its University Athletic Association (UAA) opener against the University of Chicago at the WU Field House in St. Louis, Mo., on Saturday afternoon. The win was the Bears’ 22nd-consecutive at home, tying the school’s all-time record, a streak that was set from 1994-96.
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Ruths moved into eighth place on the Washington U. all-time scoring list, passing Kevin Fokl. He has scored 1,366 points in his four years on the Danforth Campus. Ruths also grabbed three rebounds against the Maroons, passing Fred Amos for eighth place on the WU all-time rebounding list with 576.
In holding Chicago (7-5, 0-1 UAA) to a season-low 50 points, WU improved to 3-0 this season when holding its opponents under 60 points. The Bears have now won their last 65 games when keeping their opponents under the 60-point mark. Saturday’s victory was also the team’s eighth in a row.
Washington U. opened the game on a 5-0 scoring run, using a three-point play from sophomore Aaron Thompson and a lay-up from Ruths. The Bears stretched their lead to 14-4 thanks to nine points from Ruths and a stagnant Chicago offense. The Maroons were 1-of-8 from the field and from three through the first 9:54 of the game, also committing five turnovers. Chicago did not attempt a two-point basket until Matt Corning made a lay-up at the 10:05.
Trailing 21-6, the Maroons used back-to-back three pointers from Nate Hainje and John Bonelli, to pull within nine points at 21-12. Washington U. answered the Maroons’ six-point swing with a 7-0 run of its own to take a 16-point lead.
The Bears led 37-22 at the break, and Ruths finished the half with 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting. WU shot 65.2 percent from the field through the first 20 minutes, while holding Chicago to 24.0 percent from the field and 20.0 (3-of-15) percent from long distance.
Ruths kept the offense coming to start the second half, scoring seven of the Bears’ first nine points of the frame. The Red and Green stretched their lead to more than 20 points when sophomore Cameron Smith hit a three-pointer with 15:33 remaining in the game, making the score 51-30.
Washington U. shot a season-best 62.0 percent from the field. Junior Tyler Nading and senior Danny O’Boyle joined Ruths scoring in double figures, tallying 11 and 10 points respectively. Nading also finished the game with one steal, and has now tallied 100 in his career.
Washington University (10-2, 1-0 UAA) returns to action at home on Friday, Jan. 18, against Emory University. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. at WU Field House.