Sports Shorts 1-25-05

By Sean Ahmed

Women’s basketball gains sole possession of first

Whether by means of a blowout or a nail-biter, upstart women’s basketball found two more ways to win last weekend, extending its win streak to a program record-tying nine games and remaining perfect in the UAA.

Friday’s game at Carnegie Mellon (4-11, 0-5) marked the Maroons’ first road affair since a 63-57 win at Aurora on December 15. Despite the change in scenery, Chicago (12-4, 5-0) came out rolling, building a 25-2 lead in the first eight minutes thanks to second-year guard Korry Schwanz’s four three-pointers and two layups.

With the game already in hand, women’s basketball cruised to a 45-8 halftime lead and never allowed Carnegie within 36 points the rest of the way. Schwanz finished with 23 points on 9-for-12 shooting, including 5-for-6 from behind the arc. Third-year guard Rose Kulczycki (11 points, 4 rebounds) came off the bench and added three of her own, as the Maroons set a school record with 13 three-point field goals.

“Friday night was just one of those nights,” said first-year head coach Aaron Roussell of the team’s second-straight win by at least 32 points. “We were clicking and everything seemed to fall into place. We hit everything, and they could not hit anything.”

First-year forward Nicaya Rapier again dominated the boards, finishing with nine rebounds—five offensive—in 22 minutes. First-year guard Nofi Mojidi and second-year forward Megan Prochaska added seven and six, respectively, as the Maroons out-rebounded Carnegie 48-38.

“We really stressed the importance of starting games strong, instead of just finishing strong. I could tell even before the game, just by the players’ energy and enthusiasm, we were going to play well, but you never expect a game like that.”

Sunday’s game at Rochester (8-7, 1-4) pushed Chicago to an entirely different extreme, as the Maroons lost a nine-point lead in the last five minutes to find themselves tied 66-66 with 58 seconds left.

Third-year guard Janae Winner was fouled, but made only one of two free throws with 39 seconds, giving Chicago a one-point lead. Schwanz failed to expand that margin when she missed a free-throw shot with 11 seconds left, giving Rochester one last chance to win.

After two attempts and a Rochester offensive rebound, Winner fouled second-year guard Joy Sadalay—who came into the game 4-for-6 from the free-throw line—in the paint with one second left. After Roussell iced Sadalay with a timeout, she missed her first shot and hit her second to send the game into overtime. The Maroons had no problem securing their second overtime victory of the season, making 9 of 14 free throws in the extra period alone to win 82-74.

“They were desperate for a win and played very well,” Roussell said. “We found different ways to get it done when we had to. Every time they did something well we responded, which is a definite sign of a good team with tremendous heart.”

Six Chicago players went to the line in overtime, including third-year forward Susie Gutowski, who went 9-12 on the game. Gutowski finished three assists shy of a triple-double, scoring 19 points with 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. Mojidi finished with 14 points and 6 rebounds, Schwanz with 14 and 4, and Winner with 11 and 6.

After Brandeis’s 61-59 loss to Emory, which had been 0-4 in UAA play this year, the Maroons gained the conference’s top spot. They head to NYU (14-2, 4-1) Friday and Brandeis (14-1, 4-1) Sunday in the team’s toughest competition yet.

Check Friday’s Maroon for a full women’s basketball update.

—Sean Ahmed

Two losses drop men’s basketball to third

Coming off a four-game winning streak, the Maroons looked poised to do some damage on the road in the UAA. The league’s other two top teams had other ideas.

Men’s basketball dropped both of its weekend games, falling 81-72 to Carnegie Mellon on Friday and 64-52 to Rochester on Sunday. The defeats dropped the Maroons to 10-5, 3-2 in the UAA and a tie for the conference’s third place with Brandeis.

Chicago kept both games close, hanging within six points of both opponents with less than two minutes to go. The Maroons traded leads with Carnegie (12-3, 4-1) for most of the game before an 11-0 Tartan run with six minutes remaining that put the home team ahead for good.

Fourth-year forward Mike Dolezal had a game-high 18 points. Dolezal also led with nine rebounds—his fourth game leading the team in his five games back from injury—sharing the lead with first-year center Nate Hainje. The Maroons held a 45-33 advantage, giving them a number of second-chance opportunities to keep the game close.

Rochester (13-3, 4-1) led from the first bucket, but the tough second-half play and rebounding of Hainje and fourth-year guard Justin Waldie prevented the Yellowjackets from pulling away.

“The only way to feel great about this weekend would be to get two wins,” head coach Mike McGrath said. “But I feel good, because we competed very hard and did a number of good things. The difference between losing these games and winning upcoming ones are things we can correct as a team.”

Second-year guard Brandon Woodhead led the way for the team against Rochester with 16 points. Waldie’s seven rebounds also paced the Maroons.

A number of players came through with strong individual showings this past weekend, most notably second-year guard Brandon Woodhead, who averaged 15.5 points and five rebounds. However, a number of players played critical roles in keeping Chicago in the game, with four different players scoring in double digits on the weekend and a team average of 37.5 rebounds a game.

“Both games, as has been the case with our team most of the year, were total team efforts. Everyone did good things and contributed,” McGrath said.

—Joe Katz