CHICAGO – Pesky defense and a big third quarter boosted the University of Chicago women's basketball team to a 72-53 win against University of Rochester on Friday evening.
The Maroons (15-6 overall, 8-2 UAA) have defeated four-straight University Athletic Association foes by an average of 25.2 points. The Yellowjackets fell to 15-6 overall and 6-4 in conference.
Both offenses started out slowly. UChicago made one of its first seven field goal attempts, but counteracted by playing lock-down defense. The Maroons made things difficult for Rochester on the interior and only allowed eight points in the opening 10 minutes.
Senior forward Britta Nordstrom provided the lion share of the offense with seven of her team's 14 points in the first quarter. The hosts drew ahead 19-12 after freshman guard Miranda Burt stole the ball and sped the other way for a fast-break layup. However, Rochester was able to get back in the game with seven-straight points that gave the visitors a narrow 26-25 edge. The Maroons responded with three-straight layups over the last 37 seconds of the half, including a steal and lay-in by Nordstrom right before the clock showed zeros.
At the break, UChicago led 31-26 thanks in large part to Nordstrom's 13 points. Rochester junior forward Alexandra Leslie put up 12 points of her own. The two squads combined for 35.7 percent shooting from the field. Turnovers played right into the home side's hands as the Maroons forced 14 in first half.
The third quarter proved to be the critical period. UChicago harassed the Yellowjackets constantly on defense and manufactured quick strikes in transition. The Rochester offense bogged down and looked flustered, which the Maroons capitalized on with an emphatic 21-5 run that blew the game open. Freshman forward Taylor Lake contributed seven points to the cause in the decisive streak. UChicago consistently made the right decisions on offense with extra passes and quality execution.
The Maroons went into the fourth quarter with a 56-39 lead, and they expanded that margin up to 25 points. The rest became a formality as the winning spread ended up at 19.
Nordstrom tallied at least 20 points for the fifth time in six games. The senior submitted 21 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Lake and freshman guard Mia Farrell both recorded 11 points. Sophomore forward Olariche Obi added eight points, a game-high 12 rebounds and three steals.
UChicago shot 44.8 overall from the field compared to 33.3 percent by Rochester. Leslie shot 10-for-14 while the rest of the Yellowjackets shot 22.2 percent.
Rochester outrebounded UChicago 45-40, but turned the ball over 26 times to lead to 25 Maroon points.
- Sunday, Feb. 12 @ 2:00 PM – Emory University at UChicago