February 6, 2014

Déjà vu: Maroons to face same schools in second-straight weekend

[img id="112547" align="left"/]Turn on the flux capacitor and get Christopher Lloyd’s agent on the phone, because next week’s women’s basketball schedule will take us back to the future. More specifically, the near future, as the Maroons (10–8, 4–3) will play Emory (15–3, 4–3) and Rochester (7–11, 1–6) in a rematch of last weekend’s games. Both games were played at an extremely high level for all parties involved, and this weekend’s games promise to be just as intense.

In Atlanta last week, Chicago fell behind early in the first half before coming back against Emory, ultimately losing 78–86. Although the Maroons hope that their offense can replicate its Friday performance, they will want to win the turnover battle (Chicago committed 26 turnovers to Emory’s 11) and come up with a plan to slow down Emory guards Savannah Morgan and Hannah Lilly, who combined for 41 points in the game. Look for Chicago to receive a boost from playing at home, following a challenging four-game road stretch.

Although no loss is received well, third-year guard Claire Devaney believes the South Siders will put it behind them and come out ready for the rematch this Friday.

“Our loss to Emory on Friday was certainly a tough one, but the great part of playing in the UAA is that you always have a chance to play again on Sunday,” said Devaney, who scored 22 points and secured eight rebounds against the Eagles. “With close losses like that, we have to put the game behind us and focus on what we need to fix for our next time on the floor.”

Whichever team can learn the most from its previous performance and implement an effective game plan will certainly have an advantage. According to head coach Carissa Sain Knoche, the games were excellent learning opportunities and will influence the team’s tactics.

“We learned a lot about ourselves this weekend that will help us prepare for the next two games. We will certainly adjust some things in our offensive and defensive schemes as a result of what we learned,” Sain Knoche said.

While different individual players have proven their ability to come up with big performances, it’s difficult to pinpoint an individual on this team who has stood head and shoulders above the others in recent games. In five of the past six games, first-year Britta Nordstrom, fourth-year Maggie Ely, third-year Morgan Donovan, and Devaney have scored at least 10 points each. Other players have also contributed important shifts, such as third-year forward Ellie Greiner, who has pitched in recently with several strong starts, notably against Case Western and Emory.

This is a perspective that Ely shares. “I think all of our girls have made a great impact in these games—there are so many combinations of players and positions that suit our offense well, and I’m thrilled that every girl has played a particular role well and complimented the team with their individual potential,” she said.

Chicago will face Emory at Ratner on Friday at 6 p.m., and will play against Rochester in the same venue at 2 p.m. Sunday.