CHICAGO – The University of Chicago women's basketball team tested itself right out of the gate, making its 2019-20 season debut against No. 12-ranked University of Texas-Dallas. The No. 18-ranked Maroons wore a path to the free throw line en route to a 74-69 home victory on Sunday afternoon.
The Comets (0-2 record) played the previous day, absorbing a 66-62 defeat at No. 14-ranked Wheaton College. UTD leaned on its preseason All-American guard duo of Victoria Pena and Raenett Hughes during Sunday's contest. They combined for 28 points and 12 assists, but also committed 13 turnovers.
Miranda Burt led the charge early on. The senior shooting guard scored seven points in the first quarter and 14 total by halftime. The Maroons displayed their trademark combination of aggressive perimeter defense and an active offense that continuously cut to the basket. While the shots weren't always falling, UChicago made up for it by drawing contact constantly on its drives. All told, the hosts took 42 free throw attempts and made 31.
Hughes was a handful on the other end, slashing her way to 20 points in 28 minutes played. However, she fouled out with 4:32 remaining in the fourth quarter with the Comets trailing by five.
UChicago led 22-17 after the first quarter and 39-32 at halftime. After a tie at 23-23, the Maroons never trailed again. UTD hung in close the whole way and would grind back points right when it appeared that the home team was pulling away. First-year guard Grace Hynes hit a tough jumper to put her team ahead 67-58 with 2:48 left in the fourth quarter. But the Comets came right back down the floor and canned a three-pointer.
The lead was trimmed to two points with just over a minute remaining. Free throws came up clutch in the end as the Maroons sunk seven of their final eight attempts while getting defensive stops on the other end.
In the final stats, UChicago shot 39.2 percent from the field, 23.1 percent from three-point range (3-13) and 73.8 percent on free throws (31-42). UTD made 41.7 percent of their field goals, 10 percent from long distance (2-20) and 77.8 percent from the charity stripe (7-9).
The two teams combined for 39 turnovers. The Maroons blocked seven shots defensively. The Comets narrowly led the rebounding battle 41-39.
Burt paced the team with 16 points and three steals. Hynes scored 14 points off the bench. Senior point guard Mia Farrell tallied 13 points and was joined in double-figure scoring by sophomore forward Klaire Steffens (10) and senior forward Taylor Lake (10). Steffens snagged a game-high nine rebounds, including four offensive boards.
- Tuesday, Nov. 12 @ 7:00 PM – Illinois Wesleyan University at UChicago