This weekend Chicago has its last conference roadtrip. Tonight, the Maroons play NYU (15–5, 5–4 UAA) before traveling to Boston to play Brandeis (11–9, 3–6) on Sunday.
The South Siders last faced the Violets at home on Neon Night and came away with a 58–50 win. The Maroons relied on their field goal percentage as well as their defense to best their opponents. In fact, the team as a whole played excellent defense as the game marked the lowest score the Maroons had been able to hold their opponent to since their game against Trinity University (Texas) on November 18. Since then, NYU has regularly put up over 70 points per game. The Violets are 12–1 at home.
“The key to beating this NYU team is rebounding and post defense,” said fourth-year guard Derrick Davis. “Their team is huge for the most part so we have to focus on rebounding even more than we usually do. They also have two pretty good post scorers as well, so rebounding will help keep them to one shot a possession.”
NYU is coming off a win against Case in which the Violets dominated the boards 37–29 and outscored their opponents 36–24 in the paint. Therefore, the determining factor on Friday will be the Maroons’ ability to limit the Violets in these two categories.
On Sunday, Chicago plays Brandeis. The Judges are another team the Maroons have beaten at home, as the last time they played, the South Siders won 85–75. The game had a slow start, and there were lapses in intensity throughout, flaws that the team is trying to fix in this matchup.
“We just want to improve every time we step onto the court, no matter if it’s a practice or a game,” Davis said. “We want to have a more fluid offense and a tougher defense.”
After this weekend, the Maroons have just three games left in the season, making this stretch crucial for possible postseason qualification. The South Siders currently sit fourth in the UAA.
Tip-off against NYU is scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight. The Maroons take on Brandeis on Sunday at 11 a.m.