PITTSBURGH – Asserting its dominance in the paint and on the boards, the University of Chicago women's basketball team rolled to a 66-54 victory over Carnegie Mellon University on Sunday afternoon.
The Maroons picked up their second win of the weekend road trip, rising to 16-4 overall and 7-2 in University Athletic Association (UAA) competition. The Tartans fell to 10-10 (1-8 UAA).
UChicago's frontcourt pairing of junior Taylor Lake and senior Ola Obi did much of the heavy lifting. Lake led her team with 15 points on 7-of-13 shooting, eight rebounds and six assists, while Obi piled on 12 points and six rebounds. With her first basket of the game, Obi surpassed 1,000 career points, becoming the 13th UChicago player to reach that milestone in program history.
The Maroons' interior presence facilitated a balanced attack that saw the other three starters also add double-digit tallies to the ledger – 12 for junior Mia Farrell, 11 for her classmate Miranda Burt, and 10 for senior Jamie Kockenmeister. Farrell and Kockenmeister collected four rebounds apiece and Burt snatched three steals.
UChicago enjoyed a 41-26 advantage on the glass and scored 40 of its 66 points from inside while shooting 48.3 percent on the day. Carnegie Mellon's 36.2 percent success rate from the field reflected the pressure of the Maroon defense, which blocked five shots and picked up nine steals. The Maroons did turn the ball over 22 times, but only allowed the Tartans 12 points from those opportunities.
UChicago worked the ball inside from the start, with 14 of 17 first-quarter points coming from the paint. The exception, a Kockenmeister three, came from inside-out play as Obi took the ball in the lane and found her alone on the backside. A string of Lake layups put the Maroons out in front 15-8, but the Tartans recovered after a timeout and a few quick baskets of their own made it a one-possession game before another layup, this time from Obi, left it 17-13 after one period.
The second quarter saw Carnegie Mellon strike first to get within a score again, but the Maroons' consistent attack extended their lead further. After more inside scoring and strong work on the boards, a pair of threes from Kockenmeister and Burt had UChicago ahead by 12 points, a margin nearly sustained as UChicago claimed a 38-27 halftime lead.
The Maroons continued to wear down the Tartans in the third quarter, cementing control of the game. After an initial Carnegie Mellon jumper cut the lead to single digits, Farrell answered with a three on the first possession to start a 9-0 UChicago run. Carnegie Mellon did not score again until near the halfway mark and even after the Tartans found the basket once more, they could not slow the Maroons. A splendid sequence from Burt sprung the Maroons to a 21-point cushion as she came up with a steal and a quick layup, then immediately snatched the ball again, drew a foul, and hit both free throws. CMU trimmed the deficit slightly in the last two minutes, but entered the final quarter still trailing 55-40.
UChicago maintained its comfortable lead throughout the fourth as the Tartans failed to mount any serious challenge to the leaders. This allowed the Maroon reserves to see some action as the clock wound down.
- Friday, Feb. 8 @ 6:00 PM (ET) – UChicago at University of Rochester