Defense serves as catalyst for UChicago women's basketball in 59-45 win against Case

Rachel West and Jamie Kockenmeister
Rachel West and Jamie Kockenmeister

CHICAGO – When the offense was scuffling, the University of Chicago women's basketball team turned to its defense on Sunday afternoon to carry the day. The Maroons locked down on that end of the floor en route to a 59-45 win against Case Western Reserve University on Sunday.

The Maroons improved to 13-9 and 5-6 in the University Athletic Association (UAA) to snap a three-game skid. The Spartans dropped to 7-15 overall and 2-9 in conference.

This marks the fifth time this year that UChicago has held an opponent under 50 points scored. Freshman forward Rachel West turned in a well-rounded effort with 11 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots. Freshman guard Jamie Kockenmeister came off the bench to net 10 points and yank three steals. Junior guard Stephanie Anderson added in nine points and six rebounds, while three Spartans scored 10 points each.

Case threw an active zone defense at UChicago, and the confusion caused kept the home side from finding a reliable rhythm. The Maroons got late into the shot clock regularly. But despite bouts of indecision, UChicago went on a 13-2 run in the first quarter to grab control.

Interior defense proved important as the Maroons blocked five shots in the opening 12 minutes. Case did not get many good looks at the basket and threw the ball away 13 times in the first half. UChicago suffered through a scoreless stretch of six-and-a-half minutes in the second quarter. But Anderson's late layup just before halftime gave the home side a 23-17 lead.

After the two teams combined for only 12 points in the second quarter, the Maroons shook themselves off and got back into their identity to start the third quarter. UChicago continually made the extra pass and then made a few more beyond that in order to beat the zone. It resulted in a 60 percent shooting team shooting performance from the field in the second half.

The Maroons made seven field goals in-a-row during the third quarter to turn a three-point lead into a 12-point advantage. Kockenmeister hit a pair of threes in that run. The good times kept rolling in the fourth quarter as well. A 12-2 run to start the period gave UChicago its biggest lead of the game at 53-33. Anderson and West scored four-straight points apiece during that time.

With the 20-point lead in hand, the Maroons cruised to the finish. The home team led rebounding 36-32, but the big difference was a 30-6 advantage in bench points. Turnovers were prevalent with 23 by Case and 21 by UChicago. The Spartans were limited to 29.4 percent shooting on field goals while the Maroons converted 45.1 percent.

UChicago Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 45.1 percent (23-51)
Three-point Percentage – 41.7 percent (5-12)
Free-throw Percentage – 66.7 percent (8-12)
Rachel West (Forward, Fr.) – 11 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks
Jamie Kockenmeister (Guard, Fr.) – 10 points, 3 steals
Stephanie Anderson (Guard, Jr.) – 9 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals

Case Team Stats & Leaders
Field-goal Percentage – 29.4 percent (15-51)
Three-point Percentage – 25.0 percent (2-8)
Free-throw Percentage – 68.4 percent (13-19)
Jessica McCoy – 10 points, 9 rebounds
Kara Hageman – 10 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals
Laura Mummey – 10 points, 6 rebounds

NEXT GAME:

  • Friday, February 19 – UChicago at New York University, 6 PM (ET)