Stout Defense Leads #11 UChicago Women’s Basketball to 73-35 Rout of Case Western Reserve

Marissa Igunbor
Marissa Igunbor

CHICAGO – A huge run over an 11-minute stretch in the first half staked the University of Chicago women's basketball team to a massive lead, and the hosts cruised the rest of the way to beat Case Western Reserve University 73-35 on Sunday.

The No. 11-ranked Maroons (22-2 record) won their 20th-straight game and extended their perfect mark in the University Athletic Association (UAA) to 13-0. The Spartans dropped to 4-19 overall (1-12 UAA).

Both teams struggled offensively early in the game, shooting a combined 2-for-20 from the field. UChicago led 10-7 with three minutes left in the first quarter, and the hosts chose that moment to flip the switch. The Maroons generated defensive havoc all over the floor and forced nine turnovers in the first quarter alone. With steals turning into breakaway layups in transition, UChicago got rolling offensively and never looked back.

All told, the Maroons held the Spartans scoreless for 11 minutes and raced away with a 28-0 point streak. All aspects of the game were going UChicago's way, and the home side took a commanding 43-9 lead at halftime. The defense only allowed two points in the second quarter, as CWRU shot 4-for-32 on field goals (12.5 percent) in the half while turning the ball over 15 times.

First-year forward Marissa Igunbor was the main beneficiary in the opening 20 minutes – she tallied 11 points and eight rebounds off the bench.

While the Spartans attempted to play with more urgency and threw an active zone defense at the Maroons, the visitors had no real answers. UChicago embarked on a 22-2 run in the second half that extended the advantage to 68-19.

Igunbor posted her first career double-double with season highs of 19 points and 12 rebounds. Junior forward Olariche Obi's 11 points and 10 rebounds resulted in her 13th double-double of the season. First-year forward Meaghan O'Hara posted a well-rounded stat line of eight points, seven rebounds and three blocks.

UChicago shot 40 percent overall in the game and limited CWRU to a 22.6 percent shooting performance – the second-lowest allowed by the Maroons this season. Defensively, they have limited their past four opponents to under 34 percent shooting.

The aggressive Maroons made 15 of 22 free throws while the Spartans did not attempt a free throw in the game. Rebounds were nearly even at 48-47. Case Western Reserve committed 22 turnovers which the hosts converted into 24 points.

NEXT GAME:

  • Saturday, Feb. 24 @ 1 PM – Washington University – St. Louis at UChicago