ST. LOUIS – The University of Chicago women's basketball team used a big second half to pull off its biggest win of the year and start conference play on a high note with Saturday's 82-76 victory at No. 22 Washington-St. Louis.
The win marked the eighth-straight for the Maroons (10-2, 1-0 University Athletic Association) and snapped a five-game winning streak for the host Bears (9-3, 0-1), who entered the contest with a 23-7 record in conference-opening games.
The Maroons used a team effort to outlast WashU, as sophomores Taylor Lake (23 points, five rebounds), Mia Farrell (18 points, six assists) and Miranda Burt (15 points, seven rebounds) all netted double-figure scoring. Junior Olariche Obi grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds – including 11 offensive -- in just 17 minutes of action after battling foul-trouble throughout the contest.
The Bears led by five, 37-32, at halftime, but Farrell's big 10-point third quarter helped trim that lead to just two, 62-60, heading into the final frame. After a made WashU bucket, UChicago rookie Marissa Igunbor opened the fourth with a strong offensive board and putback to keep the lead to two.
WashU answered with four-straight points to give the Bears a six-point cushion with 8:36 left, but Igunbor, who finished with seven points, proved clutch again with another big basket with Obi still on the bench with four fouls. Obi reentered the game with 8:01 to go and came up huge again on the boards, collecting seven of her 17 rebounds in the final minutes.
With a clutch triple from the wing, Lake finally gave UChicago its first lead since the first quarter, as the Maroons held a 76-74 advantage with 3:41 left. UChicago's defense didn't let up after that. The Maroons stopped repeated Bears' possessions and Farrell (2-for-2) and Burt (3-for-4) closed out the game at the free-throw line in the final seconds to seal the road win.
Despite only shooting 34.2 percent (27-of-79) from the field compared to 51.7 percent (31-of-60) for the Bears, UChicago dominated in several other categories to pull off the upset. The Maroons hit 10 3s (37 percent) compared to just three (21.4 percent) for WashU, and UChicago scored 22 points off 25 Bears' turnovers.
Partly thanks to Obi's 11 offensive rebounds – half of her team's 22 -- UChicago also dominated the second-chance point category, 26-4, and the Maroons also got to the free-throw line for 30 attempts, making 18. WashU finished 11-of-15 from the stripe.
Lake added five steals and three assists and finished 4-for-5 from deep, and Burt added three assists and two steals for UChicago. Three players also chipped in five points apiece – Jamie Kockenmeister, Meaghan O'Hara and Elizabeth Nye – in the balanced effort.
Madeline Homoly led all scorers with 24 points to highlight the Bears, who also got double-digit performances from Natalie Orr (13 points), Katie Claussner (11 points) and Rachael Sondag (10 points).
- Friday, Jan. 12: NYU at UChicago, 6 p.m. CT