November 21, 2017

Split Weekend for South Siders

This weekend saw the Maroons take on Colorado College and No. 25 Illinois Wesleyan as part of the Midway Classic at the Ratner Athletics Center. Although the women dropped their first game to Illinois Wesleyan, they responded with a strong outing against Colorado College, grabbing the second victory of their young season to move their record to 2–1.

Saturday’s game against Illinois Wesleyan coincided with the return of the Midway Classic tournament and was also the Maroons’ home opener. Although UChicago jumped out to a two-point lead in the first 10 minutes, the Maroon’s poor shooting percentage would come back to bite them. Illinois Wesleyan quickly assembled a lead that they would not give up for the rest of the game, despite the best efforts of the Maroons. The Maroons struggled with shooting the ball, only making 25 percent of their shots from the floor. They also turned the ball over 21 times compared to Illinois Wesleyan’s 14 turnovers. On the plus side, the Maroons shot 80 percent from the charity stripe, led by second-year guard Mia Farrell’s 10 for 11 free throws. Third-year forward Olariche Obi also led all players in rebounds with 15. 

In the second half of the Midway Classic, the Maroons were able to bounce back with a very strong showing against Colorado College. The Maroons demolished the Tigers 83–52, ending the weekend with a resounding victory. First-year forward Elisabeth McCray credited the victory to the team’s improved chemistry, “Our team chemistry grew over the first two games as we got a better understanding of how each other play, so today we were able to execute and finish.” This improved chemistry was certainly apparent looking at the score line of the game, as the Maroons were never really threatened by the Tigers. 

The Maroons’ improved shooting percentage was undoubtedly a major factor in their victory. This time around they had a 51.4 shooting percentage, while the Tigers offense was limiting to a paltry 32.8 shooting percentage. The Maroons’ offense was well-rounded, with 4 players scoring in the double digits. Obi was again a monster on the boards, racking up 7 rebounds. First-year Meaghan O’Hara also contributed on the glass, getting 7 rebounds and scoring 13 points. Scoring for the Maroons was led by forward Taylor Lake, who scored 16 points with 7 out of 11 field goals. 

With the game in hand by the final quarter, the Maroons were able to give their bench players extra minutes, allowing reserved first-year guard Ionie Banner to score five points, including a buzzer-beating three-pointer.  

The women look to continue their winning ways against Rose-Hulman on Tuesday, November 21, at the Ratner Athletics Center.