After two major conference upsets a week ago, the South Siders looked to continue their hot start to UAA play, as the Judges of Brandeis University rolled into town Friday evening. Fending off a strong Brandeis push down the stretch, the Maroons’ first-half offense proved to be the difference as Chicago picked up its third conference victory by a final score of 62–55.
After a slow start out of the gate, the Maroons’ three-point shooting quickly put the home team out front. In what has become a tradition, the South Siders began to pick up steam in the second quarter, outscoring Brandeis 20–5 in the 10-minute stretch. Forcing eight turnovers in the period, the Maroons rode a 37–19 advantage into halftime.
Weathering a 9–0 run from Brandeis guard Paris Hodges, first-year Miranda Burt and fourth-year Britta Nordstrom provided key baskets to keep the hosts on top 45–21 heading into the fourth quarter. Strong defense from the Judges forced several Chicago turnovers in the final three minutes of play, but the South Siders were able to hold on in the final minute to seal the victory.
Burt led all scorers with 17 points while also grabbing four steals on the night. In the paint, Nordstrom and second-year Ola Obi each recorded double-doubles to anchor the Maroons’ campaign.
It was a short turnaround for the South Siders; they hosted conference foe NYU for a Sunday matinee. In a back-and-forth battle of grit, first-year Mia Farrell sent the Chicago fans home with a smile, finishing a game-winning layup in the closing seconds to put the Maroons on top 69–67.
After a stifling defensive start from the visiting Violets, it was timely outside shooting that yet again gave the Maroons the halftime edge. Farrell was rolling from the tip, scoring 11 of her career-high 13 points in the first 20 minutes of play. In a second half that saw a vicious trapping zone from the visitors, Nordstrom and fourth-year Elizabeth Nye righted the ship for the South Siders. The veteran combo accounted for eight key points in crunch time, while the Violets relentlessly battled back to knot the score at 67. However, it was Farrell that would have the last word, converting an off-handed scoop with 2.3 seconds remaining that put the game on ice.
“It’s really an honor that my coaches and teammates put so much of their trust into me and the other freshmen,” Farrell said. “Being surrounded by such amazing coaches and players has given [our class] great opportunities to contribute.” When asked about her team’s postseason potential, Farrell was confident in her teammates. “When we play as a team and work together, we have the potential to be unstoppable,” she said.
The South Siders (11–5, 4–1 UAA) will travel to Cleveland on Friday to take on the Case Western Spartans (10–6, 2–3 UAA). Friday’s contest will be held in historic Adelbert Gymnasium as a part of Throwback Weekend recognizing the three institutions that united to become Case Western Reserve University. Friday’s tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. EST.