This weekend, the Maroons (10–6, 3–2 UAA) went on the road for their first stretch of back-to-back away games, looking to extend their winning streak to four games. However, after besting Carnegie Mellon (9–7, 2–3) in a close contest, the South Siders dropped the last game of the trip to Case Western (10–6, 2–3).
“Going into these games, we wanted to keep our momentum going from the previous weekend. We know the UAA is won on the road, so we felt we needed a 2–0 weekend,” said fourth-year guard Derrick Davis.
Indeed, the Maroons brought a lot of their energy from last weekend into their first game, going on a 14–3 run in the first minutes of their contest against Carnegie. The surge continued and was highlighted by a dunk by second-year forward Nate Brooks to give Chicago a 23–7 lead.
The Tartans fought back, going on a run at the end of the first half to bring the score to 37–35. However, even after halftime, Carnegie continued to pour on the points, a charge that Chicago couldn’t seem to answer as it went scoreless for minutes at a time.
Third-year guard Royce Muskeyvalley explained the drought.
“As a team we started to play less aggressive in the second half. As a result we couldn’t get a lot of the easy transition points that were there in the first,” Muskeyvalley said.
Yet, it was Muskeyvalley who turned up the intensity at the end of the game to bring home the win, sinking a three-pointer and a jump shot with 1.4 seconds left to give the Maroons a 65–64 lead.
Chicago then traveled to Cleveland to take on Case Western. The initial minutes of the game could not have been more different than those against Carnegie, as poor shooting by both teams kept the game close. In fact, the Maroons went 0–8 from the three-point line, a shot that they normally rely on to give themselves the edge over their opponents. Chicago entered halftime down 21–30.
The Spartans refused to let up and took advantage of Chicago’s offensive inconsistency, increasing their lead right off the bat by putting up nine the first 10 points after the break. From then on out, Chicago struggled to keep up, although the sharp shooting of second-year forward Alex Voss was able to pull them within eight. However, the team’s efforts were not enough, and it dropped its second game in conference play by a score of 58–77.
Davis cited intensity as the biggest disparity when comparing his team’s performance against the Tartans and the Spartans.
“We started with much more intensity against Carnegie Mellon on Friday. When you come out slow in UAA games, you’re playing with fire. Obviously we burned ourselves Sunday afternoon against Case,” Davis said.
This problem affected every aspect of the Maroons’ game. After shooting 42 percent from the floor and 20 percent from behind the arc against the Tartans, Chicago struggled in both of these categories against the Spartans—shooting 31 and 16 percent, respectively. Additionally, they performed worse on the boards.
However, the team believes there are certain lessons they can take away from the weekend that will help them in the rest of UAA play.
“We’ve learned that we need to continue to push the tempo throughout an entire game and never get content with a lead,” Muskeyvalley said.
Chicago will have two chances to prove this new mindset this weekend, as it goes on the road again to take on Emory this Friday and Rochester this Sunday.
Tip-off against the Eagles is set for 7 p.m. in Atlanta.