Chicago (6–6, 0–1 UAA) ended up on the wrong end of an 87–72 score in St. Louis, as they lost to No. 2 Wash U (11–1, 1–0) Saturday afternoon in both teams’ first UAA game of the season.
The game began unevenly for the Maroons. While their defense forced five turnovers by the Bears early on, the offense was unable to register a point until nearly six minutes into the game. By that time, Wash U had capitalized on Chicago’s offensive dry spell to seize an 11–0 lead. While the Maroons were able to reduce the deficit to seven points on two separate occasions, the early setback was extremely difficult to overcome. Barring those first few minutes, both teams played an evenly contested half, and entering halftime the Maroons trailed 29–40.
Unfortunately for Chicago, the second half started about as well as the first. The Bears started off the half with three quick layups en route to a 14–4 run, which put the game out of reach for the Maroons. Their problems were compounded by a lack of success from the 3-point line (2–11 in the second half) and the fact that Wash U outmatched Chicago in the paint, securing 47 rebounds to Chicago’s 30. Nonetheless, the Maroons played opportunistically and notched a 12–2 run in the second half to get within striking distance at 51–62. The Bears, however, closed out an impressive performance in which sophomore guard Jordan Thompson joined four of her teammates in double figures, leading all scorers with 27 points.
According to third-year guard Morgan Donovan, the key for the Maroons from here on out will be consistency.
“We obviously didn’t get off to a good start, which put us in a tough position, but once we started executing better, the game became more competitive,” Donovan said. She led the Maroons in scoring with 17 points.
“I love playing Wash U because they always bring their best game; it’s a great way to test yourself as a team. I think this Saturday was a great way for our younger girls to see the type of competition that UAA play brings, which can only help in our games going forward,” said fourth-year guard Maggie Ely. She contributed 16 points and eight rebounds in the defeat.
“We’ll be a very different team the next time we play Wash U in March, and each game until then will be another opportunity for us to get better,” Ely said.
The Maroons will look to return to their winning ways with home matchups against NYU and Brandeis later this week. Chicago will tip-off against NYU (12–0, 1–0) at 6 p.m. on Friday, January 17. The team will then face Brandeis (6–6, 0–1) on Sunday, January 19 at 3 p.m.