Women’s basketball falters after two days atop conference

A win at Emory gave Chicago a share of first place—for two days. Now they’re back to second, after Rochester stole an overtime win on Sunday.

By Jefferson Mao

Women’s basketball returned from this weekend’s crucial road trip with a win in hand but also with a frustrating loss on their minds.

Chicago (13–5, 5–2) defeated Emory (9–9, 2–5) 80–70 on Friday but then fell to Rochester (15–3, 5–2) 54–52 in overtime on Sunday. Before the loss to the Yellow Jackets, the Maroons were riding a five-game win streak and had climbed into a first-place tie in the UAA. The date with Rochester marked the last of four consecutive road games for Chicago.

The Maroons nursed a five-point lead with 1:26 remaining in regulation, but did not score in the final stretch, while Rochester sunk five free throws—including three from guard Melissa Alwardt with 16 seconds, after she drew contact on a three-point attempt. Alwardt later hit what proved to be the game-winning shot in overtime.

“It was a game between two very tired teams,” head coach Aaron Roussell said. “We just couldn’t get it done offensively in the end.”

Although fatigue was certainly a factor for Chicago, Roussell believes that the team should have played better otherwise.

“We have to play better than we did to win on the road in the UAA,” he said. “All other factors aside, we weren’t as good as we needed to be.”

Both teams had some trouble shooting the ball, as Chicago shot 31 percent from the field while Rochester managed only 26 percent. The Maroons had only three points in the overtime period.

Fourth-year forward Molly Hackney paced the Maroons with 10 points and eight rebounds, but she was the only Chicago player scoring in double figures. Second-year forward Taylor Simpson added nine points and eight rebounds, including all three points in overtime for the Maroons.

In Friday’s game against Emory, Chicago had none of the offensive woes that plagued them in the Rochester game. The Maroons ran up 80 points on 51-percent shooting from the field, both of which are season highs.

Second-year guard Meghan Herrick led Chicago with 20 points, while Hackney notched 12 points, seven boards, and six assists. Fourth-year forward Anna Woods finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds—her first double-double of the year—and fourth-year guard Jamie Stinson matched her career high with 13 points.

The Maroons were in control throughout the game in Atlanta, leading 37–30 at the half and putting the game away in the second period. Chicago led by 18 points with 4:26 left in the game.

Nevertheless, this weekend was undeniably disappointing for the Maroons, who were briefly tied with Wash U for first-place in the UAA, after Rochester upset the Bears (16–2, 6–1) Friday night. Wash U got the best of Emory 70–60 on Sunday afternoon, and had Chicago made it out of Rochester with a win, the teams would still be tied atop the UAA, halfway through league play.

The Maroons will play at home this Friday against Emory, and again Sunday, when they’ll try to avenge their loss to Rochester.