The streaking Maroons (17–3, 9–0) defeated Case 65-55 on Friday and demolished the Carnegie Tartans 74–43 on Sunday, continuing their 13-game win streak with two more conference victories.
Heading into Friday’s game against Case Western, the Maroons knew that the following two weekends could shape the rest of their season. They were about to embark on a four game road stretch against conference opponents, a road stretch that could determine the UAA champion and be the difference between a top seed and a mediocre seed in the playoffs.
With the Maroons’ only losses coming away from their comfortable Hyde Park abode, this weekend was a true test of the progress the Maroons have made as the season has gone by.
The Maroons jumped to a quick lead from the opening tip-off on Friday. For the fifth time this season the Maroons would go an entire game without losing the lead, but not before getting a bit of a scare from an invigorated Case team that the Maroons had stomped on just one week prior.
After heading into halftime with a 30–19 Maroon lead, the Spartans battled back, bringing the game to within 6 points with 1:40 remaining. However, behind third-year Bryanne Halfhill, who scored 13 points and collected 12 rebounds, and third-year Taylor Simpson, who scored a Maroon-high 17, Chicago managed to hold off for a victory.
The Maroons came away with the win at Case despite shooting a mere 36 percent from the field, a statistical category that the Maroons have routinely dominated all year long. The fact that they were able to still claim the win despite the poor shooting is a testament of the team’s growth into a more well-rounded squad who can win on a night even when it seems like the ball just does not want to go in.
Regarding the Maroons’ road victories, Byranne Halfill said, “We didn’t really execute well in our offense, so really what won us both games was just our ability to out-work both teams. We played hard and we got stops on defense.”
Head coach Aaron Roussell stated, “We need to improve our attitude and mind-set on defense. We have been winning games with our offense, but we know that down the road we won’t always be able to do that.”
It was that improved defense that allowed 11th-ranked Maroons to breeze past Carnegie Mellon on Sunday on their way to a 74–43 victory. Maroons simply overpowered Carnegie and dominated in all aspects of the game. Chicago once again controlled the lead from the onset and led by as many as 25 points in the second half.
Leading the way for the second time was Halfhill, who scored a game high 22 points, 12 of which came from long range, and dished out five assists. On the receiving end of a few of those passes was fourth-year Dana Kaplan, who scored a season-high 12 points, including two shots from behind the three-point line.
The Maroons shot an outstanding 63 percent from beyond the arc in the second half—sharp shooting that helped the Maroons finish the game with a much-improved field goal percentage of 46 percent.
The victory over Carnegie Mellon marked the 13th consecutive win for a very hot University of Chicago women’s basketball team. With upcoming away games against the University of Rochester (16—4, 6—3) and Emory (9—11, 2—7), the Maroons know that the road tests have just begun and that to win they will need to be clicking on all cylinders.
Halfhill said, “This coming weekend is definitely very important. We have a tough game on Friday. We need to come out and play our game and run our offense. When we play hard and play together, no one can beat us.”