February 14, 2013

Out of playoff contention, Maroons hit road looking to build on recent success

They play for the love of the game.

With three games remaining, Chicago (10–12, 4–7 UAA) finds itself tied for fifth in the conference and out of postseason contention. However, the team’s motivation is still rock solid.[media img="104483" align="right"/]

“There’s no question whether the guys are still motivated,” head coach Mike McGrath said. “When you want to compete, you compete. We have a lot to build on for next year.”

The Maroons are coming off losses against fourth-ranked Rochester (20–2, 9–2) and Emory (15–6, 7–4). Chicago battled against one of the nation’s top teams, staying in the game until falling to Rochester by a score of 68–57.

Emory started and finished the game with hot shooting, converting 50.8 percent of their field goals and an incredible 47.6 percent from three-point land. The Eagles beat the host Maroons 82–59.

This weekend, Chicago travels northeast to take on Brandeis and NYU. The Maroons lost a close contest to Brandeis in their first match-up this year.

The Maroons built a 34–24 first-half lead by keeping the Judges’ star third-year guard Gabriel Moton (averaging 15.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 3.8 rebounds per game) in check, only allowing him two shots and forcing him into four turnovers. But in the second half, he and the Brandeis offense found their flow, stole the lead from Chicago at the very end, and pulled out a 59–55 win. Moton finished with 14 points, eight rebounds, and five assists.

McGrath isn’t giving away any of the Maroons’ secrets for how to beat Brandeis. When asked what Chicago will have to adjust for the rematch, he simply said, “That was a good game here. Both teams played really well. Brandeis just made a couple plays at the end that we didn’t.”

One key for the Maroons this time will certainly be keeping Moton under wraps—this time, for all four quarters.

When NYU came to town earlier this year, Chicago shot the lights out, hitting 12 of 23 from three and destroying the Violets by a score of 77–58.

As long as the Maroons play as well as they did against Rochester, Chicago will be likely to come home with two victories.

The Maroons take on Brandeis on Friday at 7 p.m. and NYU on Sunday at 11 a.m.