With eight games remaining, the women’s basketball team is at a pivotal point in its season.

After a disappointing weekend of University Athletic Association competition in which they fell to both Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Chicago, the Yellowjackets are fifth among eight teams in the UAA with an conference record of 3-4 (11-6 overall).

UR faced its most formidable challenge of the season Friday, Jan. 25 ? playing the No. 1 team in the nation on its home court. Washington holds an impressive 103-2 all-time record at home, and had no intention of letting UR end its 28-game winning streak dating back to last season.

Despite holding two brief leads, the Yellowjackets found themselves down 33-21 at the half before eventually falling 61-44 to the Bears.

Freshman forward Kelly Wescott, who left the game early in second half due to injury, led UR in scoring with 11 points.

Senior guard and co-captain Jen LaBuda added 10 points, bringing her career total to 870 as she moved into ninth place in career scoring for UR women’s basketball.

The win was the 67th consecutive victory at home for the Bears, as they remain undefeated with an overall record of 18-0 (7-0 UAA).

Two days later, UR was in Chicago in search of its first conference win on the road. The Yellowjackets are undefeated in conference competition at home, but they have struggled while away. Sunday proved to be no exception to the trend, as UR lost to the Maroons 52-47 with nine lead changes throughout the course of the contest.

UR was without leading scorer Wescott, who was still nursing her injury from the previous game. LaBuda led UR in scoring with 11 points, while sophomore guard Erika Smith and freshman center Megan Fish each tallied 10.

“I’m disappointed in the way we played overall this weekend,” Scheible said. “We played two strong teams, but we expected more from ourselves. Hopefully we’ve learned from this what it takes to win on the road in the UAA.”

LaBuda was similarly disappointed. “We didn’t come ready to play,” she said. “We weren’t focused on the game, and didn’t put forth our best effort.”

The conclusion of this weekend’s competition marked the end of the first round of competition in the UAA. UR will get a second crack at each of its UAA foes beginning tomorrow evening when it hosts Chicago for a 6 p.m. start at the Louis Alexander Palestra. Two days later, the Yellowjackets will look to avenge their loss to Washington when the Bears visit the Palestra for a 2 p.m. tipoff.

Scheible is optimistic about his team’s potential to finish the season strong.

“We’re a little below where I had hoped we would be at this point, but we still have many opportunities left,” he said. “We have the potential to play well and get some big wins over the last eight games. We’re still unproven on the road ? we’ll have to figure that one out, but I expect us to get some good wins at home.”

Seferiadis can be reached at jseferiadis@campustimes.org.

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