In a game dedicated to the graduating class, the Maroons upset rival No. 9 Wash U in their season finale on Saturday afternoon. The team jumped out to an early lead and remained ahead for all 40 minutes to secure an 82–70 victory. This marked Chicago’s fourth win over a nationally ranked team this season and its first over the Bears since 2012. With this result, the Maroons end their season with an overall record of 16–9 and a conference mark of 8–6.
Prior to the contest, the team honored the hard work and dedication of its three fourth-years. Caitlin Moore, Helen Petersen, and Paige Womack each contributed four long years of service to the basketball program, and they will be missed dearly. After competing in her final match on Saturday, Moore finished her career with 100 games played, averaging seven points per game over her tenure. Unfortunately, knee injuries prematurely ended the careers of both Petersen and Womack, but that didn’t stop them from making valuable contributions in practice and off the court over the years.
Against Wash U, Chicago took an early 9–5 lead thanks to five quick points by first-year point guard Alyssa Clemente. Throughout the first quarter, the Maroons kept the tempo up and took a 25–17 lead into the first break. And the team didn’t let up. Thanks to efficient long-range shooting, the Maroons extended their advantage to 15 points heading into halftime.
In the second half, the Maroons relied on efficient offensive play to stay ahead of their opponents. While the Bears fought back and closed the margin, clutch three-point shooting by second-year Elizabeth Nye and first-year Rachel West helped to preserve Chicago’s lead.
Later, with 4:52 remaining, guard Moore made a layup and added a foul shot to complete the three-point play and extend the lead to 71–56. Then, in the final minute, Moore secured an offensive rebound and scored on the putback to ice the game.
In the afternoon, the Maroons shot an all-time school best 63.8 percent from the field, surpassing the previous record of 63.3 percent set in 2003. The Chicago defense also held strong for the entire game. The squad forced 14 turnovers and held its opponents to 39 percent shooting. Nye finished the game with a team-high 19 points after hitting a perfect 5–5 three-point attempts. Coming off the bench, third-year Stephanie Anderson added 14 points of her own. Finally, Moore capped off her career with eight points and a team-leading five rebounds.
Reflecting on her final game, Moore said, “It was amazing! It was such a fun atmosphere and a great way to end the season! Everyone played so well and did their part when they were on the court. It was definitely one of our best games of the season and I’m so glad we were able to pull it off.”
While the Maroons narrowly missed playoff selection, it is hard to dispute their success this year. With a very young team, Chicago posted a winning record both in its conference and overall. Moreover, the team posted an impressive 10–3 record at home and defeated Wash U for the first time since the seniors arrived in Hyde Park. All of these results indicate that the Maroons will continue to have a strong showing in the future. Looking ahead to the 2016–17 season, the Maroons will be led by rising fourth-years Britta Nordstrom and Stephanie Anderson, as well as a slew of talented third- and second-years.