CHICAGO – One week after their first showdown, the No. 16-ranked University of Chicago women's basketball team and No. 11-ranked University of Rochester battled it out again on a snowy Sunday inside the Ratner Athletics Center. The results repeated themselves as the Maroons came away with a double-digit victory 80-70 to help cement their hold atop the conference standings.
UChicago (18-2 record) won for the 16-straight time and currently holds a three-game lead in the University Athletic Association (UAA) at 9-0. The Yellowjackets fell to 16-4 overall and 6-3 in the UAA.
Rochester's senior forward duo of Lauren Deming and Alexandra Leslie held a significant height advantage in the post, and the visitors attempted to exploit that edge early and often. Throughout the game, the Yellowjackets were all over the boards and challenged every drive into the post. Easy points proved elusive for UChicago, but Taylor Lake was up to the task. The sophomore forward was the engine of the offense for much of the first half, getting advantageous positioning in the post and finishing with confidence off the glass. She scored eight of the team's first 14 points.
UChicago went ahead 23-15 in a fast-paced first quarter. But Rochester made that lead disappear with a 13-3 run that stretched into the midpoint of the second quarter. However, the home side responded to the challenge with eight-straight points to make it 34-28. Sophomore guard Mia Farrell sank two free throws and a layup in that run.
By halftime, the Maroon advantage stood at 42-34. Lake made six of seven field goals for 14 points, while Farrell had nine points of her own. The Yellowjackets shot 52 percent in the half and were +6 in rebounding. But UChicago's active defense hounded them into 15 turnovers.
Rochester's starters began to pull the game back and trimmed the deficit to 44-43. As soon as the visiting bench unit entered, junior forward Olariche Obi went to work on them. In a one-minute span of the third quarter, Obi bulled her way to baskets on three-straight possessions, forcing a Rochester timeout.
The game continued to see-saw and entering the fourth quarter, the Maroons held a tenuous 54-52 lead. The final period was fruitful for UChicago as it has been all season. The hosts embarked on an 8-0 run that included a three-pointer along with an and-one by Lake. The offensive execution picked up and the Maroons earned their way to the free throw line with more frequency.
Sophomore guard Miranda Burt made back-to-back tough layups through traffic in the last 90 seconds that killed any chances of a Rochester rally. All told, UChicago scored 26 points in the final nine minutes.
Lake finished with 25 points on 9 of 14 shooting, to go with seven rebounds. Farrell scored 16 points. Obi racked up her 11th double-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds and three steals. Burt tallied 11 points of her own.
UChicago shot 42 percent from the field, 36.4 percent from three-point range (4-11) and 78.3 percent from the free throw line (18-23). Rochester converted 47.3 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from deep (2-6) and 72.7 percent from the charity stripe (16-22).
The Yellowjackets won the rebounding category decisively, 44-30. But their 26 turnovers led directly to 26 UChicago points. The Maroons only turned the ball over eight times.
- Friday, Feb. 9 @ 6:00 PM (ET) – UChicago at New York University