The Maroon's basketball team dropped its conference opener on the road to Wash U by a score of 70-52, dropping their record to 4-8 overall. The Maroons were close at the half, trailing their archrivals by only three points. However, the Bears came out firing in the second half, with Barry Bryant and Rob Keller combining for the first 19 points in the second half. The two led the Bears on a 19-5 run.
Washington built up a 47-33 advantage with 14:08 left to play in the game and led by at least nine points the rest of the way. Fourth-year forward Scott Fisher led all scorers with 22 points in the contest.
Once again, the Maroons were hobbled by their inability to come up big in the clutch, whether on offense or defense. Because of this, the team struggled to generate the kind of momentum necessary to take command of the game. The Maroons were out-rebounded by the much bigger and aggressive Bears by a 40-26 margin. They shot just 36 percent from the field and a discouraging 14 percent from behind the arc.
"I don't know what it is, but we just can't dig in and get the big play," said third-year guard Bryan Fitzgerald.
The loss to the Bears was the team's fourth loss in a row since the winter break. The Maroons also fell to Concordia University, Madonna University, and Lake Forest College, all on the road. The team's road record has now slipped to 0-7. The good news, however, is that the next two games are at home, where Chicago's record is a much more respectable 4-1.
"We still have a chance to pull off a few upsets in the UAA and win the conference, giving us an NCAA birth," said second-year forward John Todd. "Nobody on this team has given up hope, but we are all getting really anxious to win."
The team will try to right the ship this weekend as they host two UAA contests. Case Western comes to town on Friday night at 8 p.m. and Emory will be here Sunday at 1 p.m.