It might feel like Déjà Vu for the Chicago squad this weekend as they face off against the same two teams they played last weekend. The Maroons will travel to Emory on Friday, and then to Rochester on Sunday for their games this weekend.
The team is riding high off of two home wins last week against these conference foes. The Maroons defeated Emory in a closely contested match 79–73 last Friday. Then they were able to recuperate and defeat Rochester 58–56 on Sunday. Rochester was ranked No. 7 and was tied for first place in the conference until they dropped both games this weekend. The win over Rochester marked the squad’s first win over a top 10 ranked opponent this season.
These two wins showed the South Siders’ resilience, despite that they have been very up and down in the month of January. After Sunday, the Maroons have ended the month on a three-game winning streak. They are certainly looking to carry this momentum into the last month of their 2015–16 regular season schedule.
One reason for the Maroon’s recent success is third-year guard Stephanie Anderson. Anderson recorded 16 points and six rebounds in the victory against Emory and scored the go-ahead basket against Rochester. Anderson feels that the team is really finding their groove as they enter the last month of the season. “We are playing really well as a team lately. Everyone is contributing. There is incredible chemistry between all the players and the coaches,” she said.
The South Siders will need to keep rolling this weekend as they play against two teams seeking revenge, a sentiment that will be fresh because Chicago got the best of them just last week. It is always a challenge to defeat a team beaten only just recently by the same players, but the Maroons are not worried.
“I think they will be mad. I would be mad, but we’re ready for whatever they throw at us. When we’re at our best we can compete with anyone in the conference,” Anderson said. Chicago, who is 12–8 this year, will need to be at their best because they face two teams with winning records and one ranked-opponent. Emory comes into the weekend with a record of 10–8, and Rochester has a 15–3 record.
In addition to their emotions, Emory and Rochester have something else on their side this weekend, which is the much vaunted home court advantage. Road travel is always tough on athletes but even more so for student athletes. Chicago has a record of 4–4 on the road this year, which, although not bad, does not bode well for a two-game stretch.
However, this year the Maroons’ home record is at a very impressive 8–2. They are hoping to be able to put together a home game performance on the road this weekend, and it has implications greater than just their record. Playing on the road is a challenge that the squad will need to overcome if they want to compete for the conference title this season.
The South Siders are eager to get back at it this weekend. Chicago tips off against Emory on Friday at 5 p.m. in Atlanta. Then they will travel to Rochester and start on Sunday at noon. After this weekend, Chicago will come home to play Carnegie.