With a 72–63 victory over Emory University and an 80–70 victory over the University of Rochester this past weekend, the University of Chicago women’s basketball team remains atop the UAA standings, recording their 16th straight win.
The Maroons started off by setting the tone in their first match, leading the Eagles 18–14 after the first quarter. By halftime, the Maroons extended the lead to 36–29, with third-year Olariche Obi having secured another double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in that short span of time.
In the third quarter, the Emory Eagles were determined to erase this deficit and went on a small run in which they outscored the Maroons 19–15 during that quarter, leading to a score of 51–48 in the Maroons’ favor.
As the fourth quarter unfolded, the Eagles mounted a comeback, and their lowest deficit was by two points, 57–55, with less than seven minutes remaining. UChicago responded with Obi scoring as the shot clock went down. A critical steal led to fourth-year Elizabeth Nye scoring a three-pointer to extend UChicago’s lead to seven. Second-year Taylor Lake closed the game after blocking a layup attempt and following up with scoring two free throws.
Despite struggling from the field, shooting only 32.8 percent (64–21), the Maroons maintained pressure in order to force 22 turnovers from Emory. Obi finished with 21 points and 18 rebounds, and second-year Mia Farrell scored 12 points.
The matchup against Rochester was highlighted by Lake’s 25 points and seven rebounds. From the start, the YellowJackets presented a tough challenge for the Maroons, due to their ability to dominate rebounds with ease. This would not deter Lake, who led the offense in terms of aggression and pressure. By the end of the first quarter, the Maroons led 24–20.
With the start of the third quarter, Rochester closed in with the score at 44–43. It was a close game until the fourth, where UChicago shined. They went on an 8–0 run, with the offense continuing to go to the free throw line with ease. Second-year Miranda Burt closed the game by scoring back-to-back layups. Burt finished with 11 points, with Farrell scoring 16, and Obi tallying her 11th double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
When asked about the motivation to perform well, Lake said, “After the success we’ve had in the first half of the UAA, we’ve gotten glimpses of how good of a team we can really be. I think that our main motivation going into the second half of conference play is to take every game as an opportunity to better ourselves and find out how good of a team we really can be. It’s exciting to know that we still make mistakes even in the best of games and have so much room to continue to grow and improve throughout the rest of the season.”
She added, “Having talented teammates is the sole reason we are having so much success. No matter what team you’re on during practice, you are still going against the best and competing at a high level. By pushing each other during practice, it makes it easy to carry that intensity over into games. That’s definitely something special about our team: It’s that you can’t just shut down one player because we have a whole 12 more players just as talented and able to contribute just as much.”
The Maroons will face off against NYU on February 9 at 6 p.m.