WALTHAM, Mass. – During the University of Chicago women's basketball's current win streak, the team cruised to five wins by an average of 24.4 points. But on Friday night, UChicago found itself locked in a nail-biting battle with conference foe Brandeis University all the way until the final seconds. Clutch free throws by freshman Mia Farrell proved vital and a final heave at the buzzer missed as the Maroons emerged with a 69-66 victory.
UChicago (17-6 overall, 10-2 UAA) won its sixth-straight game to maintain its first-place tie atop the University Athletic Association (UAA) standings. The Judges fell to 11-12 and 3-9 in league action.
First half foul trouble forced the visitors to improvise and extend their rotation. With several main contributors on the bench, 13 different Maroons scored in the opening 20 minutes. Senior forward Michelle Dobbs had a team-high six points at the break and three others posted four points.
UChicago took a 14-7 lead, with a free throw and layup by freshman forward Taylor Lake pushing the advantage to seven. Brandeis soon tied the game up at 14-14 and then took a 19-18 edge. But the Maroons countered with a 13-2 run that saw plenty of points in the paint.
The Judges cut the deficit to four points late in the half, then a three-pointer from sophomore guard Alyssa Clemente helped UChicago take a 36-30 lead into the break. The Maroons shot 45.2 percent from the field compared to 39.1 percent by Brandeis.
The teams exchanged baskets in the third quarter, and two more Lake layups made the score 44-35. The hosts kept things close with a 12-2 streak. Freshman guard Miranda Burt nailed a three to put UChicago back up 49-47 entering the final period.
With 34 seconds left, Farrell was fouled and sank both free throws to go up 67-64. After Brandeis scored with 10 seconds left, Farrell was again grabbed and went to the free throw line with five seconds remaining. The freshman guard calmly made two more at the charity stripe to put her team up by three. Brandeis threw up a long three as the buzzer sounded, but it drew iron and UChicago escaped with the win.
Nordstrom tallied 10 points and five rebounds, while Farrell converted all six of her free throws en route to eight points. Obi submitted a well-rounded stat line of eight points, four rebounds, three steals and three blocks. Seven points were scored by junior guard Elizabeth Nye, Lake and Burt. Nye also dished out five assists.
UChicago shot 42.6 percent from the field and 20 percent from three (3-15), while Brandeis shot 48.1 percent overall and 20 percent from deep (2-10). The Judges outrebounded the visitors 38-31, but the Maroons forced 25 turnovers that they converted into 25 points. UChicago has forced at least 20 turnovers in its past six games.
- Sunday, Feb. 19 @ 2:00 PM (ET) – UChicago at New York University