November 23, 2004

Women see early returns from new offense

Looking to hit the ground running with an early home win, women's basketball came back from behind to defeat Northland 74-63 in Saturday afternoon's opening round of the Midway Classic. Although the Maroons lost in the finals against 12th-ranked Trinity 70-59, the team had a number of bright spots with their new fast-break offense.

Down 45-34 with 16 minutes left against Northland, Chicago (1-1) went on a 13-4 run to pull within two. Led by third-year forward Susie Gutowski's 32 points and 10 rebounds, the Maroons ended up taking the lead with six minutes left and never looked back.

Chicago struggled with its shooting in Sunday's finals, making only 30 percent of its shots against a much taller Trinity team. Gutowski, who was in early foul trouble, had 16 points and 9 boards, while first-year guard Nofi Mojidi led the team with 18 points.

Although the Maroons' shooting was streaky, they won the rebounding battle in both games. Further, their quick transitions and hard, inside drives earned them triple the free throw opportunities of their opponents, keeping them competitive.

"For most of the game, I thought we outplayed Trinity," Roussell said. "If you can shoot 30 percent and still have the chance to beat a top 12 team, that's encouraging."

Chicago hosts Concordia (IL) at 7 p.m. today in Ratner.