By David Bates
The Rochester women’s basketball team faced off against the University of Chicago, the top-ranked team in the University Athletic Association, on Friday night at the Palestra. Despite the fact that they were facing one of the top Division III teams in the nation last Friday, Feb. 11, the UR women were feeling confident and ready to stretch their home game winning streak to 15.
“I felt very confident during the Chicago game,” said Kristyn Wright, who led the Yellowjackets with 13 points. “I really thought we were going to be able to pull through at the end. We played hard for 40 minutes and never let up. Unfortunately, they shot better than us in the second half.”
Wright couldn’t have summarized the game any better, as despite a strong first half the women couldn’t keep pace with Chicago in the second half, and fell 66-56.
The Rochester women played a spectacular first half. The women showed they meant business right from the start, as Wright nailed a three-pointer early in the game to spark an early UR lead, 13-8, with 14:08 left in the first half. Chicago would not go unheard however, fighting their way back to a 20-19 lead with 5:30 left in the half.
On the defensive side, the Yellowjackets managed to hold Chicago to a 33.3% field goal percentage, which translated into a measly 9 of 27 from the field. These efforts all added up to a 28-26 UR advantage going into half time. The Yellowjackets, undefeated at home this season, appeared by all means poised to dethrone the UAA’s best, who at this point looked nervous and even a bit lost heading into their locker room.
Unfortunately, the Maroons must have figured out what they were doing wrong in the first half, as they came out ready to roll in the game’s second period. 10 unanswered points at the start of the second half put the visitors up, 38-30. Rochester’s defense found it hard to stop Chicago’s Meghan Herrick, who by game’s end led all scorers on both teams with 21 points.
UR did not lose hope though. The ‘Jackets were able to bring down their adversary’s lead to just four points with 11:10 to go, but Chicago swiftly answered with numerous three-pointers of their own. Despite doing all they could to make up the lost ground, the Yellowjackets came up short.
The loss brought UR’s record to 6-4 in the conference and 16-5 overall. Chicago remains undefeated in league play. Despite the loss, the team still has high hopes for the remainder of the 2010-11 campaign.
“We are focusing on finishing out these last 3 games of the UAA with wins across the board,” said Wright. “After that, hopefully we will have made it to the NCAA tournament and look to be a strong contender.”
Bates is a member of
the class of 2014.