CHICAGO – Britta Nordstrom passed a major milestone with one of the best games of her career and the University of Chicago women's basketball team held on late to defeat Case Western Reserve University 87-74 on Friday evening.
The Maroons improved to 13-6 overall, including a 6-2 mark in the University Athletic Association (UAA). The Spartans fell to 11-8 overall and 3-5 in UAA contests.
With 23 points on the night, Nordstrom became the 12th UChicago women's basketball player to score 1,000 career points. The senior forward put together her most efficient performance, shooting 10-for-11 from the field. She also pulled down nine rebounds and pilfered four steals.
The Maroons never trailed in the contest, thanks to a blazing-hot first quarter. The home side tallied an impressive 34 points in the opening frame and led by 19 after 10 minutes of play. A 19-4 run featured a fast-paced UChicago attack that put Case on its heels. The defense was also able to contribute transition points off steals, as the Maroons picked off passes in the middle of the floor.
UChicago cooled off precipitously in the second quarter. Case started to figure out its offensive attack and passed out of double teams in the post more effectively. Meanwhile, the Maroons' speed got the better of them as risky passes whizzed out of bounds or were intercepted. The Spartans adjusted and cut the lead down to 10 points at 39-29.
But the hosts got back on track just in time to embark on a 13-4 closing run to the quarter. UChicago converted six-straight shots, including a trio of layups by Nordstrom. The team shot 57.9 percent from the field and led at halftime 52-33. Nordstrom totaled 12 points with four steals. Sophomore guard Alyssa Clemente and sophomore forward Olariche Obi put up eight points each.
CWR opened the third quarter in a zone defense and it was effective enough to slow down the Maroon attack. UChicago managed to maintain its advantage thanks to defensive prowess that featured three blocked shots in the period. Heading into the fourth quarter, the home side was comfortably in control at 66-50.
However, the Maroons struggled to close out their opponent. The Spartans locked down in the paint and forced numerous rushed, contested layups that missed. The visitors clawed all the way back to within four points with three minutes remaining. UChicago then took a timeout to regroup.
Coming out of the timeout, the Maroons executed a sneaky back cut with Nordstrom drifting behind the defense before catching the ball for a wide-open lay-in. A key charge call negated a Case basket with 1:47 remaining that would have made it a four-point game. UChicago came up clutch from there, sinking 9 of 10 free throws the rest of the way to preserve the win.
For the game, UChicago shot 50 percent from the field compared to 39.7 percent by Case. The Maroons were particularly dominant inside, with a 42-29 lead in rebounds and a 48-26 margin in points in the paint.
Alongside Nordstrom's scoring output, junior guard Elizabeth Nye tallied 13 points and three steals. Obi snagged nine rebounds and scored eight points.
- Sunday, Feb. 5 @ 1:00 PM – Carnegie Mellon University at UChicago