Basketball’s Road to the UAAs

Women’s Basketball dominates in their season standing for the UAA title.

By Ali Sheehy

The University of Chicago women’s basketball team sits atop the regular-season standings in the UAA, tied for No. 1 with New York University and Emory University, all three with 6–3 records. With big conference wins earlier this season versus Carnie Mellon, Brandeis, and Washington University, the Maroons headed into the past two weekends looking to secure wins against rivals Emory and Rochester. According to senior guard Miranda Burt, who recently joined classmates Taylor Lake and Mia Farrell in the 1,000-point club, playing the same two teams two weekends in a row brings its challenges. “It’s definitely a little weird playing the same two teams in a row. We know teams will try and stop what worked last weekend, so we really focus on small adjustments we can make to continue to be successful.”

Two weekends ago, the Maroons were triumphant against their opponents at home with an 80–71 win vs. Emory on Friday, and a 73–58 win vs. Rochester on Sunday. Unfortunately, this past weekend did not go as planned, as UChicago was defeated in two tough road games against Emory and then Rochester. 

On Friday, in their 51–39 loss to Emory, defense proved to be the biggest factor of the game. UChicago was kept at a 30.4 field goal percentage with 16 turnovers while the Eagles posted 35.7 shooting percentage. First-year Grace Hynes accounted for 15 of the Maroons’ 39 points, along with nine rebounds and two assists. Second-year Klaire Steffens was second on the team with eight points and six rebounds. 

After their loss to the Eagles, the UChicago women’s team traveled to Rochester, NY for another UAA matchup on Sunday. Once again, the Maroons’ biggest obstacle was their rival’s defense. At the end of the first half, the Maroons trailed their opponents by 16 points. With a second-half surge provided by Lake’s career-high 32 points, along with 13 points posted by both Farrell and Burt, UChicago was able to tie the game up with two minutes left. However, the comeback could not be completed as the Maroons eventually fell to the Yellowjackets by a score of 81–75. 

Although this past weekend wasn’t exactly what the Maroons had hoped for, the team is still optimistic as the end of the season approaches. Burt commented, “This weekend taught us to go back to just playing basketball. At this point in UAA play, everyone knows everyone so well. We have a great team, and we just need to get back to the basics.” She continued, “I think that the games that we have lost have helped us get better as a team.”

Moving forward, the Maroons hope to get back to their winning ways and finish the regular season off strong. Once again, according to Burt, “We want to win the league and be successful in the last UAA games. After that, we hope to get into the NCAA tournament and make a deep run.” 

The UChicago women’s basketball team competes again next weekend at home vs. Carnegie Mellon on February 14 and Case Western Reserve on February 16.