The women’s basketball team started out its season on about as high of a note as it gets, knocking off a ranked team and later setting the school record for points scored in a single game. The Maroons competed in the McWilliams Classic Tournament at Wash U, defeating both No. 25 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) and Hanover. The squad looked in top form as it shone on both offense and defense all weekend.
On Friday, the Maroons took on CMS for the season opener. After a back-and-forth start, the South Siders went on a 20–1 run highlighted by six-point halves from both second-year guard Jamie Kockenmeister and first-year guard Miranda Burt, en route to a 28–9 advantage by halftime.
Chicago continued to assert its dominance in the second half, immediately forcing a turnover via a steal by fourth-year Britta Nordstrom, which resulted in a layup. Chicago held a comfortable lead the rest of the way, culminating in a final score of 64–36.
The Maroons were led by second-year forward Olariche Obi with 13 points, Kockenmeister with 10 points, and first-year Mia Farrell with 10 points in the first game of her collegiate career.
The defense ruled the day for the Maroons as they limited CMS to 24.5 percent shooting percentage. Though the Maroons and Athenas had a similar number of turnovers, 27 and 26 respectively, the Maroons capitalized on the Athenas’ turnovers for 29 points.
While the defense shone for Chicago on Friday, its offense truly came alive on Saturday. The Maroons blew past Hanover College with a score of 113–83, setting a school record for points in a game. The previous school record was 101, achieved in both the 1985–86 and 1992–93 seasons.
The Maroons picked up 78 of their points in the paint and shot 64 percent on field goals within the arc. The forwards, Nordstrom along with first-year Taylor Lake, led this charge while dominating inside the paint. Lake ended with 21 points and 11 rebounds while Nordstrom had 19 points, six rebounds, four assists, and four steals. They both went on to be named to the McWilliams Classic All-Tournament Team.
Kockenmeister noted how excited the team is to have played so well in its first time hitting the court together, especially while integrating the newcomers. “These first few games are definitely a great indicator for the rest of our season. Our defense and offense can be kind of hard to grasp if you think too much about it, but everyone did a great job this weekend of adjusting to the other team and just playing basketball, especially our freshmen, which was really fun to see,” Kockenmeister said.
Both games saw significant impact from the first-years on the team, making it hard to distinguish them from the veterans. “They all played like they had played college basketball before, and they contributed a huge part to our wins this weekend,” Kockenmeister said.
The Maroons look to keep the ball rolling today at their home opener versus Carroll University at 6 p.m.