January 15, 2013

Hoops squad slips to 3–10 following pair of conference losses

After dropping their first UAA game of the year against Wash U on January 5, the Maroons hoped to stage a conference comeback against Rochester and #17 Emory last week. Unfortunately, those wishes did not come true.

On Friday, the team was bested 71–49 on the road against Rochester who improved to 1–1 in the UAA, while Chicago fell to 0–2. The Yellowjackets opened up a nine-point lead in the first minutes of the game, and carried that momentum with them until the final whistle.

“Rochester executed really well and hit a lot of shots early in the game which we struggled to respond to,” second-year post Ellie Greiner said. “We were getting really good looks on offense but it just didn’t seem like we could get a shot to fall.”

Rochester began the game shooting significantly better from the field than Chicago, making 52.6 percent of their first-half shots compared to the Maroons’ 23 percent mark. The Yellowjackets really took control of the game on the glass, out-rebounding Chicago 50–35. The South Siders picked it up in the second half, but their improved play wasn’t enough. After scoring only 15 points in the first half, the Maroons did a better job offensively and defensively in the latter half of the contest—a lesson the team hopes to capitalize on in their next meeting.

“This game, we really struggled with rebounding,” Greiner said. “We gave Rochester way too many second chance opportunities by giving up offensive rebounds. I think if we work harder on the boards and limit our turnovers, we’ll have a good chance of beating Rochester when we play them at home.”

They didn’t have to wait until the next matchup with Rochester to improve their rebounding. On January 13 against Emory, Chicago out-rebounded their competition 47–44.

“Our mindset going up against Emory was to play hard and to get back to the basics,” second-year guard Claire Devaney said. “We knew that in order to compete, we needed to rebound, get stops on defense, and take care of the ball.”

Improved rebounding alone was not enough to secure the win, however, and Chicago eventually lost 80–64, falling to 0–3 in the UAA. After a solid first half of shooting, the Maroons went into halftime down by only five points. But after the break, the Eagles went on a nine-point run and capitalized on 14 Chicago turnovers to put the game out of reach.

“In both halves, our team did a great job at staying composed and breaking the press to get some easy baskets,” Devaney said. “In the first half, we valued every possession, but we struggled with turnovers in our half-court offense throughout the second. In the end, I think that’s what really hurt us.”

Yet Devaney is optimistic about the Maroons’ upcoming games, as the recent losses have showcased the team’s ability to make important improvements.

“We’re looking forward to playing NYU and Brandeis at home this coming weekend. I’m sure that both teams will come ready and eager to play us on our home court, but I think they will be two great games if we can carry over the good things we did against Emory.”