January 13, 2012

No. 2 Maroons face conference foes

Chicago will head east this weekend to play Carnegie Mellon and Case Western after overpowering Marian (WI) at home on Tuesday. Carnegie (6–6, 0–1) and Case (8–4, 1–0) are not powerhouses in the UAA, sitting in last and fourth, respectively, and the Maroons have already defeated Wash U, perhaps the strongest team in the UAA aside from themselves. Chicago (12–0, 1–0) also has a strong history in the weekend after playing their rivals—they’re 14–0 in such contests in the past seven years. However, neither coaches nor athletes are taking either game lightly.[img id="91296" align="left"/]

“Every team in the UAA is a threat and we prepare for each accordingly,” fourth-year forward Meghan Herrick, who scored 12 points in 19 minutes on Monday, said. “We never take any upcoming teams for granted. We don’t care if a team is undefeated or has lost every game.”

Carnegie is still a dangerous team despite being last in the UAA, with three prolific scorers: forward Emily Peel (17 points per game), guard Gabrielle West (13.6 points per game), and guard Jacquie Shaw (11.7 points per game). Peel also grabs more than 11 rebounds per game and will be a handful for Chicago’s interior defense to contain. Head Coach Aaron Roussell is confident in his team’s ability to handle Carnegie’s robust offensive squad, given the way it has played against other top-ranked opponents.

“I feel really good about where we’ve been defensively over the last month. I [also] feel pretty good individually about our match ups on key players, but just as a team I think we’ve done well about not giving up easy baskets over the last couple of weeks,” Roussell said.

After playing Carnegie on Friday, the team will travel to Cleveland to face Case Western. Case defeated Carnegie handily last weekend, by a score of 63–51. The Spartans seem to be the tougher of the two opponents, featuring two of the most prolific scorers in the UAA in senior forward Erin Hollinger and junior guard Evy Iacono.

“I think those top two scorers they have are two of the top players in the league,” Roussell said. “Erin Hollinger doesn’t need to take a backseat to anybody in the discussion for best player in the conference, and Iacono can light it up from the guard spot. She’s one of the best guard scorers in the conference.”

Both games will be streamed live at Tip-off against Carnegie is set for 5 p.m. (CST) and at 2 p.m. (CST) against Case.