It was a snowy afternoon in St. Louis when Chicago took on the Wash U Bears this past Saturday. While the weather was not a factor inside the David R. Francis Gymnasium, the Maroons found themselves engulfed by an early avalanche of scoring and fell to the Bears by a margin of 80–63. With this result, the Chicago squad drops to 8–4 on the season and 0–1 in UAA action.
The Maroons got off to a sluggish start over the weekend, scoring just 11 points in the first quarter while surrendering 21. The team’s presence in the paint was hampered by foul trouble early on. Third-year forward Britta Nordstrom and first-year forwards Olariche Obi and Rachel West each got whistled for two personal fouls in the opening period. As a result, the Maroons were forced to play a small lineup for most of the first half. Consequently, the team struggled near the rim on both offense and defense, and found themselves in an early hole.
Were it not for second-year Elizabeth Nye’s grit and determination, Chicago would have
been completely down and out. The second-year guard amassed 22 points, including nine in the do-or-die second quarter. About halfway through the period, she sunk a deep three-pointer to pull the Maroons within five points of their opponents. On that day, Nye recorded five rebounds and four assists to go along with her game-high point total.
Unfortunately, the Maroons were never able to completely recover. Wash U went on a scoring-run at the end of the first half and led by 12 at the intermission. From that point on, the Bears controlled the game, never allowing Chicago to pull within striking distance.
“We got off to a tough start against Wash U and couldn't overcome that deficit,” Nye said. “We played hard to the very end and I think we are all proud of that, but we know we have a lot of work to do moving forward.”
Notably, third-year guard Stephanie Anderson was a steady contributor throughout the contest. She finished the game with 10 points, seven rebounds, and four assists while only turning the ball over once. As a whole though, the team struggled all day, shooting a lackluster 39 percent from the field. Furthermore, despite having been a highlight so far this season, the Chicago bench accumulated just eight total points.
Looking forward, the team will need to right the ship before facing a gauntlet of strong UAA opponents throughout the month of January. This weekend, the Maroons will hit the road once again to face conference opponents No. 25 Carnegie Mellon and Case Western Reserve. Heading into these tough matchups, the Maroons will look to have high energy and get off to a fast start.
“The UAA is a tough conference and we can’t start games like we did this weekend or we will be in trouble,” Nye said.
This Friday, Chicago heads to the Steel City to take on Carnegie Mellon. The Tartans enter the contest with an impressive 12–0 record and a top 25 ranking in the most recent coaches’ poll. Naturally, the Maroons will be looking to spoil the party and end the Tartans’ winning streak. Last year, Chicago dominated Carnegie Mellon in both meetings, so the South Siders will be hoping to feed off of their recent success in the series.