CHICAGO – Taylor Lake couldn't miss on Friday night, and the University of Chicago women's basketball team rode that momentum to its best shooting performance of the season in an 85-68 triumph over Brandeis University.
The No. 23-ranked Maroons moved to 18-5 overall and 9-3 in the University Athletic Association (UAA). The Judges fell to 7-15 on the year (3-9 UAA).
Lake set a new career with 30 points thanks to an amazing shooting display. The junior forward knocked down her first 12 shots of the night before finally missing at the third-quarter buzzer. She went 5-for-5 from three-point range while also converting several improbable layups with deft touch in the paint. The last Maroon to reach the 30-point plateau was Mia Farrell with 31 points versus Washington University – St. Louis on Feb. 24, 2018.
As a team, UChicago shot a season-best 50.8 percent on field goals and sank a season-high 15 three-pointers on 37 attempts (40.5 percent). Brandeis made 40.4 percent from the field but held a massive edge at the charity stripe (20 of 23 versus 6 of 8 for UChicago). The Judges also held sway on the boards with a 42-25 rebounding advantage.
Early in the game, the Maroons found a formula for success. The Judges consistently crowded the interior with bodies, which left them vulnerable to shooters slipping to the outside. The home side made them pay, first with dribble drives to the paint that resulted in layups. When Brandeis tried to counter defensively, the drive-and-kick strategy worked like a charm for open three-pointers.
After an early 10-10 tie, UChicago went on a rampage offensively with a 21-8 run. Junior guard Miranda Burt, first-year guard Kati Heller and Lake all hit two treys each and UChicago converted 7 of 11 from beyond the arc in the first quarter alone. Lake submitted 14 points in that opening period.
After an and-one layup courtesy of first-year forward Klaire Steffens, the game looked poised to turn into a blowout. However, Brandeis guard Camila Casanueva kept that from happening with aggressive rim attacks through double teams and circus-shot layups that kept bouncing in. She contributed 12 points in the first half. At the break, the Maroons led 52-35.
The Judges took that building momentum and whittled the deficit down to 60-48 in part thanks to a switch to zone defense. But Lake would not allow a comeback. The junior continued her scoring barrage with 13 points in the third quarter. As the teams headed into the final 10 minutes, UChicago held a 72-53 advantage and cruised the rest of the way for the comfortable victory.
Burt sunk four three-pointers of her own to tally 16 points by game's end. Senior guard Jamie Kockenmeister contributed a balanced score line of six points, six assists and five rebounds. Senior forward Olariche Obi added seven points and six rebounds.
- Sunday, Feb. 17 @ 2:00 PM – New York University at UChicago