BEREA, Ohio – In its opening game of the NCAA Division III Tournament, the University of Chicago women's basketball team pulled away in the second half for a convincing 80-57 victory over La Roche University on Friday evening.
The No. 18-ranked Maroons (21-5 record) will next play the host school No. 9-ranked Baldwin Wallace University (27-2) on Saturday night. The Redhawks concluded their season at 20-7.
La Roche had the upper hand early thanks to hot shooting, as the Redhawks made 8 of 16 from beyond the arc in the first half. Midway through the first quarter, they held a 14-8 lead thanks to four three-pointers. UChicago countered with seven-straight points to go up 15-14.
Runs back and forth commenced. The Maroons scored five layups in a two-minute span to draw ahead 30-23. Then a 10-2 La Roche rally flipped the score right back. However, UChicago remained highly efficient in its offense. The squad shot 61 percent from the field in the first half and owned the paint throughout. Senior guard Miranda Burt hit a trey in final seconds of the half to put her team up 47-40 at the break. Burt had a team-high 14 points in the half, followed by fellow senior Taylor Lake with 10 points.
The second half was all Maroons. La Roche's scoring ability dried up as the Redhawks went 1-for-12 from three-point range. UChicago's defense suffocated the opposition into a mere 17 second-half points.
A 14-1 run began with a three-pointer by senior guard Mia Farrell to give the Maroons a 65-46 advantage. The margin soon increased past 20 points and UChicago cruised to the finish.
Burt led the way with 20 points. Lake's balanced box score included 14 points, six rebounds and four assists. First-year guard Grace Hynes submitted 13 points and Farrell had 10 points.
UChicago shot 50 percent from the field, 30 percent from three (6-20) and 75 percent from the line (18-24). La Roche converted 37.3 percent of its shots, including 32.1 percent from deep (9-28) and 66.7 percent on free throws.
The battle in the post went definitively in UChicago's favor. Outside of the 36-29 rebounding edge, the Maroons dominated points in the paint 44-19. The Redhawks turned the ball over more often as well (15-11).
- Saturday, March 7 @ 6:00 PM (ET) – UChicago at Baldwin Wallace (NCAA Second Round)