February 16, 2015

Ten straight wins keep Chicago atop the UAA

Over the weekend, Chicago (16–6, 10–1 UAA) took care of business against conference foes Rochester (13–9, 5–6) and Emory (11–11, 3–8). The win extended the team’s winning streak to 10 in conference play.

In the first game, Rochester was the first to score. Just three seconds in, a layup gave the Yellowjackets a two-point advantage. However, their lead was short-lived. On the other end, fourth-year forward Ali Shaw countered with a three to put Chicago ahead. From then on, the Maroons never played from behind.

Rochester kept the game competitive through the first eight minutes of regulation, when a pair of free throws evened the score at 12. However, in just the next minute and a half, Chicago spread its lead to 10.

Fourth-year guard Claire Devaney led the way early on, scoring 14 of her game high 19 in the first half. But it was the three-point shot that carried the Maroons in the first 20 minutes of play. Chicago went 7–12 from behind the arc, with both fourth-year forward Ellie Greiner and third-year guard Caitlin Moore knocking down a pair.

Little changed after the break. Chicago’s lead never fell to single digits. The final score, 76–66, was as close the Yellow Jackets came to evening the score in the final half of play.

Despite dominating from the opening whistle, Chicago was outplayed in certain parts of the game. They gave the ball away 19 times to Rochester’s 15. The Yellowjackets also bested the Maroons on the glass, out-rebounding their opponents 51 to 42.

The game against Emory differed little. Again, the game started off close. After seven minutes of play, the score was knotted up at seven. But, just as they did against Rochester, Chicago poured in 10 points in the next three minutes.

Four different players scored during Chicago’s early 10–0 run. But the first half again belonged to Devaney, who dropped 12 of her game high 14 in the first 20 minutes of play.

By the end of the first whistle, Chicago held a 35–24 advantage. The second half only gave Chicago more time to extend its lead.

By the game’s end, Emory finished with 16 more total shots than did Chicago. However, the Eagles converted only 20 of their 74 field goal attempts. Behind the three-point line, they weren’t much better, connecting just a quarter of the time.

The pair of victories extends Chicago’s win streak to 10. Their last loss came against the No. 6 Wash U. This weekend the Bears fell to Rochester, bringing them to two losses in conference play. With just one loss in conference play, Chicago now has sole possession of first place in the UAA.

However, despite its impressive run, Chicago’s pair of wins again exposed one of its flaws: turnovers. Two of their next three games will come against ranked opponents: in-conference rivals NYU and Wash U. To beat such stellar opponents, the Maroons will have to cut down on their mistakes.

However, the team is confident that it will continue its winning ways.

“Our team has continued to emphasize working together both on the offensive and defensive ends of the floor,” said Devaney. “We know that if we can play as one unit and control the rebounding battle and tempo of the game we will be in good shape. This week, we’ll focus on having three great practices and we’ll take each game one at a time.”

Chicago’s next two games will be at home. It will face Brandeis on Friday at 6 p.m. before taking on NYU on Sunday at 2 p.m.