February 15, 2019

Basketball Nears End of Regular Season

With three games left in the regular season, the University of Chicago men’s and women’s basketball teams look to finish strong, just as they started the season. With both teams sharing a 7–2 record at home, the Maroons are energized to establish their dominance in their final regular season home games. In their last pair of conference matchups, they once again take on New York University and Brandeis University.

Having lost two of their last three matches, the men’s basketball team looks to bounce back and bring their best performance against a Brandeis team that bested them back in January, in a one-point game that concluded in overtime. As it pertains to the Violets, the Maroons are confident in dominating them, having maintained the early lead throughout the game when they last faced off. The Maroons have a healthy balance when it comes to scoring, with 826 points scored in the first half, and 895 points scored in the second half. Other teams need to make adjustments throughout the entire game, since the Maroons always find a way to take it to the hole, and are experienced in playing well past regulation time. 

For the women’s basketball team, this weekend serves as an opportunity to avenge their overtime loss against NYU back in January. It was a game that was filled with back-and-forth action from both sides, with turnovers and foul trouble preventing the Maroons from closing the deal. They also get a chance to prevail over Brandeis and show that there are levels to this, since the Maroon style of play sets them apart from any other team. The Maroons have won five of their last six matches, and hold an 8–3 record in UAA play, just behind Washington University in St. Louis (10–1). With consecutive victories this weekend, they have a chance to stand atop the UAA standings. 

The Judges have gone on a four-game losing streak, as they’ve struggled to find success at home or away games. Nevertheless, they will be determined to capture an upset victory over the Maroons. Meanwhile, the Violets hold onto a two-game winning streak, having won three of their last six games since facing the Maroons. They are led in points by second-year Janean Cuffee, who is averaging 17.1 points a game. She is paired alongside teammate Lauren Koyama, who is shooting 44% from downtown. With a motivated team that poses a threat when shooting the rock, the Violets look to sweep the Maroons in competition this season. 

When asked about the prospect of facing NYU again, third-year Miranda Burt said, “The loss at NYU was really disappointing earlier in the season. NYU is a very good team and played a great game, but we felt as if we made a lot of mistakes in a game where one possession would've changed things. This game is huge to not only avenge the loss, but also for our postseason hopes. I think right now we are very motivated as we know what the rest of the season means. We are so close to getting another opportunity to make a run in the tournament, which has been our ultimate goal all season. We do know we have a chance to edge out WashU, but right now we can only control what we can control. We have three huge games, and if we take care of all three, I think we have a great chance this postseason.”

The men’s and women’s basketball teams face off against Brandeis on Friday, February 15, at 8 p.m. and 6 p.m. respectively. They then play against NYU on Sunday, February 17, at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. respectively.