Dominant defense keys Maroon women's basketball's 81-61 triumph over Carnegie Mellon

Britta Nordstrom
Britta Nordstrom

PITTSBURGH – The University of Chicago women's basketball team employed its aggressive defense to great effect, stifling Carnegie Mellon University all afternoon to earn an 81-61 victory on Sunday.

The Maroons improved to 12-6 overall and 5-2 in the University Athletic Association (UAA). The No. 9-ranked Tartans dropped to 15-3 and 4-3 in the conference.

UChicago's swarming defense harassed CMU into a season-high 31 turnovers. The Maroons capitalized with 30 points off those miscues and ultimately hoisted 24 more shots than the Tartans. Tasked with holding down the nation's leading scorer, UChicago contained CMU center Lisa Murphy enough to hold her 10 points below her season average of 26.2 points per game. Murphy was only credited with four field goal attempts on the day.

After falling behind 8-2, the visitors owned the rest of the first quarter completely. They ended up scoring 18 of the next 20 points to head into the second quarter with a 20-10 advantage. Freshman forward Taylor Lake got the start and responded early with seven points in the opening 10 minutes.

The two sides exchanged baskets back-and-forth during the second quarter, and CMU drew to within seven points on several occasions. But Lake's three-pointer in the final minute of the half staked UChicago to a 41-31 lead at the break.

Senior forward Britta Nordstrom took charge offensively in the third quarter, scoring eight points in the first 2:28 to give her team a 52-35 lead. The Tartans got within single digits eventually as the quarter dragged on. Four quick points from senior guard Stephanie Anderson put the Maroons comfortably ahead again at 65-48 heading into the final period.

UChicago cruised through the fourth quarter and picked up the 20-point victory – its second win of the season against a top 10-ranked team. The Maroons have won seven games this season by 20 points or more.

Nordstrom poured in a career-high 25 points, with four rebounds and three steals to her credit. Lake tallied up 15 points and four rebounds, and senior guard Elizabeth Nye recorded 12 points. Defensively, sophomore forward Olariche Obi blocked five shots.

UChicago shot 37.3 percent from the field and 20 percent on threes (6-30), compared to 35.3 percent overall and 41.7 percent on threes (5-12) by CMU. The Tartans won the rebounding battle 49-37, but the Maroons scored consistently inside with a 40-16 edge in points in the paint.

NEXT GAME:

  • Friday, Feb. 3 @ 6:00 PM – Case Western Reserve University at UChicago