SPORTS

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January 9, 2014

Maroons to test 2014 undefeated record as UAA play begins

The Maroons (6–5) defeated the Loras Duhawks (5–6) this past Sunday by a score of 73–68, putting on a dynamic offensive display to wrap up their non-conference schedule in style.

Although the game began sluggishly for Chicago—the Duhawks jumped out to a 14–5 lead within the first five minutes—the Maroons fought back by creating an offensive spark from a series of Loras turnovers. Although the teams swapped leads in ensuing possessions, Chicago entered halftime with more to cheer about as they ran off a 16–2 lead in the final six minutes, largely thanks to clutch shooting in the form of four three-pointers, to build a 38–26 cushion heading into the interval.

The South Siders maintained this double-digit lead for most of the second half as both teams exchanged points across several possessions, but the Duhawks began to get into foul trouble later in the half as the Maroons maintained their offensive poise, opening up a 67–52 lead with 5:39 to play. While the Duhawks staged a late comeback bid by drawing several fouls and capitalizing on Chicago turnovers, Loras was unable to convert from the foul line late on and the Maroons hung onto their lead for the remainder of the game.

Fourth-year guard Maggie Ely continued her stellar season with a 15-point, five-assist performance, tied as the game’s top scorer with first-year forward Britta Nordstrom. Julie Muguira, a fourth-year guard, gave a performance that demonstrated why she was named Chicago’s Athlete of the Month in November, providing 13 points, six rebounds, and four steals for the Chicago cause. While the Maroons did allow the Duhawks back into the game, their collective offensive performance, including shooting an extremely impressive 42.9 percent from behind the arc and 47.2 percent overall, is something the team can hang their hats on as they enter the final stretch of conference games on their schedule.

“I think a lot of our runs can really be attributed to stops on the defensive end. When we’re playing well defensively it makes the offensive part of the game a lot easier,” Muguira said, reflecting on the squad’s ability to pull away.

“I think we have good players who work hard in practice and have developed a confidence in the offense and the shots they take within the offense. They are patient and play as a team and that lends itself to a strong team shooting percentage,” said head coach Carissa Sain Knoche, regarding her team’s offensive progress throughout the season.

The team remains optimistic in its conference ambitions.

“Ever since deciding to come to Chicago, I’ve wanted to win the UAA Championship and go on to the tournament. If we play our game, we’re going to be a tough team to beat, and I think we can surprise the conference this year,” Nordstrom said.

Chicago’s next game will be a January 11 road matchup against Wash U (10–1), as the Maroons look to break their rival’s six-game winning streak and send a message to the rest of their conference matchups. Tip-off is at 1 p.m. Saturday in St. Louis.

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