SPORTS

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February 3, 2014

Maroons split conference weekend

The Maroons (10–8, 4–3 UAA) were back in action this past weekend, playing two more conference games on the road against Emory (15–3, 4–3) and Rochester (7–11, 1–6).

Their packed weekend began on Friday evening, as they squared off against the No. 17 Eagles in Atlanta. The Maroons managed to keep pace with Emory’s up-tempo offense throughout the first 10 minutes of the first half, but the Eagles caught fire from beyond the arc, draining 50 percent (5–10) of their three-point attempts in the half to open up a significant lead. While Chicago did their best to keep up, their efforts were mitigated by nine Emory steals, which accounted for a significant portion of their 13 turnovers in the first half and 26 on the day. By halftime, Emory led 50–33, and it appeared that the game was out of reach.

Chicago, however, had other intentions. They responded positively following the break to find and take their offensive chances, and trimmed the once-gaping chasm built by the Eagles to a four-point deficit with 2:46 remaining. The remainder of the game turned into a battle of attrition, as Emory managed to sink enough of their free throws to see out the game 86–78.

One of the silver linings of the game was the performance of third-year guard Claire Devaney, who scored 16 points in the second half and 22 on the day, in addition to pulling down eight rebounds to commandeer Chicago’s courageous comeback charge. Clearly, it had an energizing impact on the team, and will be a positive takeaway from the loss.

The weekend concluded on a high note for the Maroons though, as they defeated Rochester in a tight game on Sunday afternoon. While it looked as if Chicago might slide to a second consecutive defeat after they trailed by seven points late in the first half, the Maroons always seemed to conjure a riposte and come up with plays to stay in the game. Although the Yellowjackets re-opened a modest 55–46 lead with 14 minutes left, Chicago scored six unanswered points to keep their hopes alive. Chicago took their first lead of the second half following a Devaney layup with eight minutes to go, and managed to maintain this for nearly the rest of the game. Although the margins remained watertight in the last few minutes, first-year forward Britta Nordstrom scored five huge points in the final minute to give Chicago an insurmountable four point lead with 16 seconds to go, and Chicago finished the game as 88–85 victors.

Fourth-year guard Maggie Ely added another memorable performance to the final season in her senior career by scoring a career-high 29 points, leading the free-scoring Chicago offense. Ely went 5–9 from three-point range, as the team went an astounding 10–18 from beyond the arc and 31–62 on field goals overall. Devaney scored 18 points and led Chicago’s defense with seven rebounds, marking her seventh game in a row with at least ten points.

After an intense weekend of exciting games, Chicago will do an about-face and prepare for home encounters against (drumroll, please…you guessed it!) Emory (15–3, 4–3) and Rochester (7–11, 1–6). The game against Emory will take place at Ratner on Friday at 6 p.m., while the re-match versus Rochester will happen at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

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