The Maroons started off UAA play on the right foot, after heading to No. 22 Wash U and coming out with an 82–76 victory. This is the Maroons’ eighth straight win, improving their record to 10–2 on the season, and ending the Bears' five-game winning streak.
This victory came from cohesion within the team. Second-years Taylor Lake, Miranda Burt, and Mia Farrell stood out as they helped lead the team in all assets of the game. Lake was able to shoot the rock with ease, leading the team with 23 points, making 4 out of 5 three-point attempts. She added on to her great game with three assists, five rebounds, and five steals. Burt recorded 15 points, 3 assists, and 7 rebounds, while Farrell had 18 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds. Each logged 33, 32, and 34 minutes respectively.
Going into halftime, the Maroons were trailing 37–32 but were adamant in erasing that deficit. As the third quarter came to a close, the score was just 62–60, with Farrell scoring 10 points in an effort to cut down the lead. It wasn’t until there was 3:41 left that UChicago finally took the lead 76-74, after Lake scored a three-point shot from the wing. First-year Marissa Igunbor showed up and went 2-for-2 in field goals made in the fourth quarter to keep the game close, and finished the game with seven points. The UChicago defense maintained the pressure and stopped multiple possessions the Bears had. Burt and Farrell closed the game at the free throw line in order to secure the victory. The fourth quarter was in the Maroons’ favor, having outscored the Bears 22–14.
Third-year Olariche Obi also contributed, leading the team in rebounds for the game.This helped UChicago secure second chance points, having dominated that category 26–4. The bench also played an important role in securing the victory for the Maroons, scoring 17 points.
Lake speaks about their current 8-win streak, stating, “We definitely don’t feel any pressure because the only thing on our minds when game time comes is playing our best for 40 straight minutes and having fun. We’ve established a mindset going into UAA conference play to ‘Win the Weekend’ so it gives us that focus we need to make every game count and not look past any opponent.”
When asked about the team’s success, she adds, “It has definitely come from the way we practice. We know the only way to get better and learn from our mistakes is to play at game speed and go as hard as we would in a game in practice. This has been so vital to our success because it puts us in game-like situations we are able to identify in practice and work on.”
This victory was an upset, seeing how the Maroons shot 34.2 percent from the field (27–79), while the Bears shot 51.7 percent (31–60). Ultimately, what led to the victory was that the Maroons managed to maintain their composure and ability to dominate in other parts of the game. The Maroons went on to shoot 37 percent from three-point range, compared to their opponents only shooting 21.4 percent. The Bears struggled with turnovers, as they had 25, as opposed to the Maroons’ 14. UChicago was able to take advantage of this, with 22 of their points coming off of turnovers.
The Maroons will face off against NYU on January 12, at 6 p.m E.T.