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February 1, 2011

Simpson’s double-doubles keep Chicago perfect in UAA

With two more games against conference rivals and two more wins against conference rivals, the University of Chicago women’s basketball team continued its dominance over the UAA this weekend in a convincing fashion, defeating Case (10–7, 4–2) by a score of 81–61 on Friday night and Carnegie (2–16, 0–7) 90–65 on Sunday. The two wins improve the Maroons overall record to 15–3, and allow them to retain a perfect 7–0 in UAA play.

Chicago’s offense was simply unstoppable from the moment they hit the hardwood this weekend. Facing off against a trigger-happy Case Western team on Friday, the Maroons never let the contest become much of a shoot-out, controlling the lead and the tempo from the get-go.

Behind third-year Taylor Simpson’s domineering first half, in which she scored 17 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in just 20 minutes, the Maroons did not give the Spartans much breathing room, heading into the locker room on a 14–0 run and with a comfortable 44–20 lead. Simpson went on to finish the game with 23 points and 19 rebounds.

Chicago did not let up either, pushing the margin to as much as 27 points at in the evening. Leading the charge were third-year sisters Meghan Herrick, who finished the game with 18 points, and Morgan Herrick, who scored 12. The player getting the ball into all of these scorers’ hands was third-year Bryanne Halfhill, who dished out seven assists and added her own 11 points.

The Maroons handled their business in other aspects of the game, as well, holding the UAA’s leading scorer Erin Hollinger to just 17 points and the Spartans to 38 percent from the field. The biggest difference in the victory, however, was on the boards as the Maroons dominated the glass, out-rebounding the Spartans 42–24.

The team picked up right where it left off on Sunday with the 13th-ranked Maroons collecting their 11th straight victory in a blow-out over Carnegie.

The formula was the same and so was the result. Halfhill ran the show, distributing seven assists and tacking on 15 points and five rebounds. Simpson dominated in the post, scoring a game high 28 and snatching 14 boards, recording her fifth straight double-double, Morgan Herrick shot seven of nine from the field for 17 points, and Meghan Herrick extended her double-digit scoring streak to 13 games with a 12 point performance.

Head coach Aaron Roussell said, “I thought our offense really clicked this weekend and we were able to get some easy baskets. This team is really starting to gel and they just complement each other so well.”

With another successful home stretch the Maroons are in prime position to achieve a new feat for the women’s basketball program, going undefeated in conference play, but the road only gets more challenging from here.

Third-year Bryanne Halfhill, who sees the challenge but isn’t about to back down, said, “We are looking to get better every day and know that since we are the only team in the UAA that’s undefeated we have a huge target on our back. That only means we need to work even harder in practice and play stronger every game.”

At the midpoint of their conference schedule Chicago has seven more games to make it through the season unscarred by their biggest rivals, a feat that if achieved, would have the Maroons in prime playoff position with plenty of momentum, momentum that could push the Maroons to achieving their ultimate goals.

Third-year Meghan Herrick said, “We of course will continue to play hard, hopefully winning games, hopefully winning the UAA, and hopefully winning a national championship.”

Look for the Maroons to continue towards those goals next Friday, February 4, as they prepare for a rematch against Case Western Reserve.

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