UChicago women's basketball falls in final seconds at Washington-St. Louis, 77-75

Olariche Obi
Olariche Obi

ST. LOUIS – The University of Chicago women's basketball team saw its late lead evaporate as Washington University-St. Louis scored 14 points in the final minute to escape with a 77-75 win over the Maroons on Saturday.

UChicago ends the regular season with an 18-7 overall record and a second-place finish in the University Athletic Association (UAA) at 11-3. The No. 7-ranked Bears (23-2, 12-2 UAA) snagged the conference title and the UAA's automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Championship.

The Maroons are now a Pool C at-large candidate for the postseason field. Qualifiers and the complete bracket will be released on Monday afternoon. The NCAA online selection show is scheduled for 1:30 PM (CT) and will be streamed at: http://www.ncaa.com/liveschedule/2017/02/27

Senior guard Stephanie Anderson bookended the first quarter to put the Maroons ahead 19-16. Anderson hit a three-pointer for the team's opening points and then drove for a layup in the quarter's final seconds, en route to seven points in the period.

A pair of threes early in the second quarter stretched the advantage to 25-16. Six-straight points by sophomore forward Olariche Obi made the score 31-25, and freshman guard Mia Farrell's layup gave UChicago a 35-26 lead at halftime. Obi made her presence felt inside with 12 points and six rebounds. The Maroons were more aggressive in the lane, pulling down eight more rebounds that led to 11 more shots than WashU.

Five points from senior forward Britta Nordstrom and a three-pointer by junior guard Elizabeth Nye put the visitors up 43-30. However, the Bears answered with a 16-2 run to recapture the lead 46-45. Nye helped create some separation by making a layup and drawing a foul for a traditional three-point play with two seconds left in the third. The Maroons headed into the fourth quarter with a four-point advantage.

The visitors kept the Bears at bay throughout the period and led 72-63 in the final minute. But that's when the home team rallied back and scored 14 points in 47 seconds. UChicago missed five free throws in that time and WashU hit a running shot with under a second remaining to steal the victory.

Offensive rebounding was a big factor for the Maroons all afternoon. While they held a 40-34 edge in overall rebounds, the visitors snared 19 offensive boards compared to seven by the home team. Second-chance points were firmly in their favor at 26-4. UChicago also forced 21 turnovers while committing 15.

Obi poured in a career-high 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Nordstrom contributed 15 points and four rebounds. Anderson tallied nine points, three assists, three steals and three rebounds.

The Maroons shot 40.3 percent from the field, 25 percent from three-point range (5-20) and 58.8 percent on free throws (20-34). WashU made 51.9 percent of its field goals, half of its threes (8-16) and 71.4 percent from the charity stripe (15-21).