The Maroons were able to keep their winning streak alive this past weekend, beating both Case Western and Carnegie Mellon on Friday and Sunday, respectively.
Chicago (12–6, 6–1 UAA) closed out January with a 7–1 record that included shutting down the Spartans (7–11, 1–6 UAA) by a score of 74–59, and extended its winning streak to six games on Sunday after defeating the Tartans (11–7, 2–5) 84–77.
First-year Elizabeth Nye led the effort on Friday, scoring 19 points while collecting three boards along the way with four assists. Nye had a dominant performance which included going 7–8 from the line.
“I really didn’t do much different,” Nye said. “I was just making cuts and my teammates were making great passes.”
The Maroons were unable to take the lead for the first eight minutes of play, but that all changed when Case lost possession of the ball up 13–12. Fourth-year guard Morgan Donovan took advantage of the opportunity and sank a three point shot for Chicago following an identical score on the previous possession. The South Siders never looked back from that moment on, continuing a recent theme of establishing a perpetual lead after being behind for the first few minutes of the game.
“We have really started to come together as a team both offensively and defensively,” noted Donovan on the team’s performance. “Our execution on offense and pressure on defense have allowed us to play at our pace and be successful.”
Donovan was a large part of that success this weekend, ending the game on Friday with 17 points, five rebounds, and two assists, and recording 18 points and four assists on Sunday.
“We know that during UAA play every minute of practice matters so we come ready for every practice knowing that whatever our coaches have planned for each game needs to be executed,” explained fourth-year Hannah Ballard, who came off the bench against Carnegie, jolting her team with 12 points, six rebounds, and four assists. “Right now we are playing as a team and playing confidently and it has really shown in the past few weeks.”
Ballard also stressed the importance of trusting in the game plan and being ready to execute on both sides of the ball through an all-out effort.
The second half of conference play will present a new set of challenges in what is set to be an intense stretch of the season. Currently the Maroons are in the thick of a three way tie for the best record in the UAA along with No. 6 Wash U (17–1, 6–1) and a No. 8 NYU (17–1, 6–1) team that was handed its first loss of the season the previous weekend by this Chicago squad.
“Playing the same teams back-to-back weekends will be difficult especially on the road,” said Donovan on having to redo these most recent two matchups again next weekend after facing them at home.
“Both Case and Carnegie are talented teams with different styles of play, so getting ready for both in one weekend is always a challenge,” said Ballard, pointing out that this particular challenge is nothing new coming from this conference, and that the team will be ready as they always are.
The Maroons will turn around to play Case and Carnegie again next week. This time they will make the trek to the east coast to play on the road.