What comes round goes round for Maroons

By Dimitri Islam

What goes around comes around. As clichéd as that sounds, it generally holds true for sports. And it held true for the Maroons this past weekend. Two weeks ago, Chicago handed out losses to both the University of Rochester and Carnegie Mellon University. Two weeks ago, Chicago was ranked number three in the always-competitive University Athletic Association, and talk about moving up even higher in the rankings was not wholly unfeasible.

As is also true in the UAA, things change very, very quickly.

This past weekend, the Maroons once again played the University of Rochester and Carnegie Mellon, only this time away from the friendly confines of the Henry Crown Fieldhouse. Head Coach Jennifer Kroll anticipated difficult games after the two home wins.

“They’ve had more time to prepare for us, so the games should be tough again,” Coach Kroll said last week.

Unfortunately for Chicago, Coach Kroll was exactly right in her prediction. The Maroons couldn’t repeat their home success, losing by more than 30 points to Rochester, 75-44, and then losing to Carnegie Mellon 60-49. Currently, the Maroons start at 8-11 (4-5 in UAA play).

Basketball is a game of runs, and last Friday, the University of Rochester made all the runs. Much like their previous encounter, Rochester opened up the game quickly, taking a 21-9 lead midway into the first half. Unlike the last encounter, however, the Maroons had no answer for Rochester’s relentless attack. Try as they might, the shots just didn’t fall. Rochester didn’t seem to have the same problems, scoring at will, and maneuvering around the traditionally stingy Chicago defense. By halftime, the Maroons found themselves down 39-25 on the road.

In the second half, things didn’t get much better for Chicago. Rochester continued to make jumper after jumper, layup after layup. For the game, Rochester shot a sizzling 51 percent from the floor (50 percent from behind the three-point line). The Maroons, on the other hand, were as cold as ice, shooting only 32 percent for the floor for the night. To make matters worse, in the second half, when Chicago desperately needed to make a run to get back into the game, they shot abysmally – only 21 percent from the floor. Accordingly, for the duration of the game, Rochester maintained a comfortable lead, and they won by a final score of 75-44.

Despite the difficult UAA loss, many Maroons played quite well. Second-year guard Paula Lepka led the team with 15 points, and she also grabbed four rebounds. Third-year guard Laura Hebel also had a solid game, scoring 10 points, but, despite leading the Maroons in three-point shooting, she only hit once from beyond the arc against Rochester. Once again, turnovers damaged the Maroons chances, as Chicago gave the ball away 25 times. Rochester minimized its own turnovers, only committing 14, and their deadly shooting eventually thwarted any of Chicago’s chances.

The game against Carnegie Mellon went a bit better for the Maroons. After a slim one-point victory two weeks ago, however, CMU was eager for revenge. Subsequently, with the Maroons yearning to redeem themselves after a tough loss, and CMU thirsting for revenge, the game promised to be close. By the end of a hard fought half, CMU took a tentative 22-21 lead to the locker room. Of course, unlike the Rochester game, the CMU game seemed within reach heading into the second half.

Sadly for the Maroons, the second half just didn’t go much better than first. Unlike past games, Chicago couldn’t find their touch from beyond the three-point line. Although the three-point shot usually treats the Maroons quite well, Chicago only shot 1 for 6 from behind the arc against CMU. Second-year forward Angel Korer led the Maroons with 14 points, and fourth year forward Katie Miller contributed with 13 points of her own. Some of Chicago’s other good scorers, however, didn’t find their rhythm against CMU. Hebel only scored 7 points, and she didn’t manage to hit a three-pointer in the game. Lepka also scored only 7 points, coming off of an erratic shooting night.

Along with the poor shooting, the Maroons struggled from the free-throw line, hitting only 48 percent of their free throw attempts. CMU, on the other hand, made nearly 80 percent of their free throw attempts – they capitalized on the free points.

This week, the Maroons thankfully return home, ready to make amends for the pair of losses they suffered this weekend. Today, Chicago faces off against Emory University, and the Maroons play Case Western Reserve University on Sunday. Tip-off today against Emory is at 6:00 p.m.