Second chances are not always easy to come by. This weekend, however, the women’s basketball team seized the opportunity to redeem themselves from disappointing in-conference performances against Washington University in St. Louis,and the University of Chicago. After losing to Chicago 51-47 on the road last Sunday, the Yellowjackets (now 12-7 overall, 5-4 UAA) rebounded in style, with a convincing 75-44 win over the Maroons this past Friday night at the Louis Alexander Palestra. Behind an impressive 50.9 percent shooting from the field, UR dominated every aspect of the game. The Yellowjackets won the battle in the paint 32-16, converted 28 points off Chicago turnovers and scored 21 points off offensive rebounds. Senior guard and co-captain Jen LaBuda led UR with 15 points and junior forward Sarah Sullivan tallied 10 in a true team effort that saw 11 players contribute points. Freshman guard Hallie Frederick made six assists, matching UR’s season high.Near upsetSunday, Feb. 3, UR hosted three-time defending national champion and No.1 ranked Washington University. The Bears entered the contest 19-0, but just barely escaped with their undefeated status, as UR played them point for point the entire game before eventually falling 62-60.Sophomore guard Erika Smith led the Yellowjackets with 16 points and four assists, while sophomore guard and co-captain Tara Carrozza provided a spark off the bench with 12 points in 15 minutes of play.Head coach Jim Scheible was relatively pleased with his team’s performance this weekend. “We played pretty well against Chicago and were happy with the 31 point win,” Scheible said. “Against Wash U. we played really well and I think they did as well. It came down to them making one more play than us at the end. Overall, a very good effort for us against a great team but we just couldn’t finish it.” LaBuda supported her coach’s assessment. “Even though we went 1-1 this weekend, I thought we played well. I wish the outcome had been different on Sunday, but I think we proved that we can play with any team out there,” she said. “We have really started to come together as a team these last few days and it has shown on the court. This weekend gave us some confidence which we will need to finish strong the rest of the season.”Home dominationUR’s strong play this weekend reinforces this season’s trend of domination at the Palestra. UR is 8-2 overall on their home court, including wins over No. 14 ranked University of Scranton and No. 16 Case Western Reserve University.The Yellowjackets will try to extend this streak as they host University Athletic Association opponents Brandeis University and New York University this weekend. UR will tip off against the Brandeis Judges at 6 p.m. this Friday night, and will conclude their regular season home schedule against the Violets of NYU at 3 p.m. on Sunday.The Yellowjackets are looking to avenge loses to both teams earlier in the season over the winter break. They fell to the Violets 51-45 in New York City Friday, Jan. 4, before losing to the Judges 59-58 two days later in Boston.The Violets are currently ranked No. 15 in the nation among Div. III teams by d3hoops.com with an overall record of 15-3, while the Judges stand 9-10 overall. NYU is tied with Case Western for second place in UAA standings with an in-conference record of 6-3, while Brandeis holds the No. 6 slot among the eight teams in the UAA with a 3-6 record against conference foes. UR is currently tied with Chicago for the fourth spot at 4-5 in the UAA. Scheible anticipates solid performances from his team this weekend. “The key will be playing better together on the offensive end of the floor and rebounding much better. We definitely can do that and we are looking forward to it this weekend,” he said.Sunday afternoon will mark the last game at the Palestra for the team’s only senior, Jen LaBuda. LaBuda has served as team captain for the past two years, and is guaranteed a spot in UR’s record book as she currently stands ninth in career scoring in the history of UR women’s basketball. She currently leads the team in scoring with 11.0 points per game after leading last year’s team in scoring with 10.3 points per game. Beyond statistics, LaBuda’s impact on the program is most aptly reflected in the respect that she has earned from her teammates and coaches.”After playing with Buda for three years, I have nothing but good things to say about her,” Sullivan said. “Her dedication to the program is evident in her leadership on and off the court. She leads and motivates by example, and always comes to play. There is never an ‘off’ day for Buda ? she is a rock when it comes to her emotional and physical level of play,” she continued. “The program will definitely miss her and her graduation will leave a big gap that will be tough to fill.””Jen has been great for our program and made us a much better team over the last couple years,” Scheible said. “She is our leading scorer and even when she is not scoring, she takes so much attention from the other team that it allows our other players to do much more. She will definitely be missed as a person, player and teammate.” Seferiadis can be reached at email@example.com.
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