The Maroon women’s basketball team has rapidly risen in the national rankings in the past few weeks, moving from No. 22 to No. 12 through some key conference wins. This past weekend, Chicago solidified its spot atop the UAA rankings by defeating Emory University and No. 11 University of Rochester both for the second time, extending their win streak to 16 straight games. Emory and Rochester are the Maroon’s stiffest competition in the conference and with their games against them over with, the Maroons can look forward to some easier games this weekend when they travel to New York to face off against NYU and Brandeis University.
The Maroons handled Emory in their first game of the weekend, defeating them comfortably 72–63. Chicago was in control for most of the game, letting the Eagles only get close at about seven minutes into the game. The team was led by some big scoring performances by third-year Olariche Obi, second-year Taylor Lake, and second-year Mia Farrell. Obi absolutely dominated with 21 points and 18 rebounds, making it her 11th double-double of the season. Lake followed with 15 points and Farrell with 12. Fourth-year Elizabeth Nye chipped in two assists. Despite the Eagles being much more successful from the field, at 46.4 percent compared to 32.8 percent, the Maroons dominated in rebounds and in free throws.
In the marquee game of the weekend, the Maroons faced off again versus the University of Rochester. Chicago backed up their upset the weekend before by earning another win over the YellowJackets with a score of 80–70. This game was not as clear-cut as the Maroons’ win over Emory. The Maroons and Rochester went back and forth, with Chicago barely holding onto a lead for most of the first three quarters. Heading into the fourth quarter, the Maroons were up 54–52. However, as they have done in games past, the Maroons came alive in the final quarter, scoring 26 points in the last nine minutes, aided by impressive efforts by Lake and second-year Miranda Burt. Lake finished an absurd shooting day with 25 points, followed by Farrell with 16 points, and Obi, on her 12th double-double of the season, with 13 points, 12 rebounds, and three steals. Burt scored 11 points.
The Maroons now stand alone at the top of the UAA rankings following their win streak. Chicago has already defeated NYU and Brandeis, but the pressure is on them again to stay focused. According to Farrell, “We know there’s a target on our backs but we put all our focus into winning each game individually. When it comes to beating each team again, our main focus is taking each weekend one game at a time by doing the same preparation for each team, focusing on winning game by game & trying to go 2–0 each weekend.”
The Maroons take on NYU on Friday and Brandeis on Sunday.