CHICAGO – The No. 19 University of Chicago women's basketball team held off an upset-minded Washington-St. Louis squad on senior day Saturday, defeating the Bears by a score of 76-72 to capture the outright University Athletic Association league title, the Maroons' seventh in program history and sixth in the past 12 seasons.
The victory also gave UChicago (20-5, 11-3 UAA) its sixth 20-win season, as the Maroons await their seeding in the upcoming NCAA Division III Selection Show, set for Monday at 1:30 p.m. CT.
Senior Mia Farrell led the way in her regular-season finale at the Ratner Athletics Center, as the fourth-year guard poured in 20 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including a 6-for-6 performance at the free-throw line, along with three assists, four rebounds and two steals.
First-year Grace Hynes added 19 points, five rebounds and three assists off the bench and seniors Taylor Lake (16 points, five rebounds, four steals) and Miranda Burt (12 points, three steals, three blocks) scored in double-figures for the Maroons, who led 35-33 at the break.
UChicago held a slight 58-53 advantage heading into the fourth frame, before WashU's Samantha Weaver drained a triple early to cut that lead to just three. Burt answered with one of her four 3s to set the tone early, but the Bears came as close as three point early in the quarter.
Lake drained four free throws in the period, including two with 4:11 left to push the host's advantage to six, 69-63. But the Bears had one last surge that UChicago would have to withstand, as a Weaver jumper and two free throws brought the visitors to within two, 74-72, with 44 seconds left.
The Maroons' defense would hold, as Farrell corralled the defensive board on a missed WashU jumper with seven seconds left, and Hynes calmly sank two key foul shots to close out the game and give UChicago the outright UAA Championship and third overall under Head Coach Carissa Sain's watch.
WashU shot 43.3 percent from the field compared to 40.3 percent for the Maroons, but UChicago made 10 3s (10-of-25) compared to seven (7-of-15) for the Bears. WashU outrebounded the Maroons, 43-30, but the visitors committed 28 turnovers to UChicago's 18—and the hosts took advantage, scoring 27 points.
Farrell's layup off the opening tip gave UChicago a quick lead, and the Maroons never trailed.
- Monday, March 2: NCAA Division III Selection Show, 1:30 p.m. CT