The women’s basketball team hosted a winning weekend, with important victories over University of Chicago and top-ranked Washington University in St. Louis, bringing the girls closer to a potential NCAA appearance.
On Sunday, the Yellowjackets did something they hadn’t done since the 1991-92 season — beat Washington. The 11-year drought was UR’s longest against any UAA foe. The win also snapped the Bears’ streak of 32 straight UAA victories, and a 31-game road winning streak and moved UR to 20-4 overall and 9-4 in the UAA. This marks the team’s first 20-victory season since 1986-87.
The Yellowjackets stuggled to get hot in the early going and found themselves down most of the first half, eventually retiring to the locker room down by double digits.
But in the second period, junior point guard Tara Carrozza sparked a UR comeback by pouring in 11 straight points to put the Yellowjackets ahead 50-49 with 12:59 remaining. Carozza knocked down three three-pointers in that span.
After several lead changes, UR would seize the lead permanently with three-pointers from senior Anne Gotstein and Carrozza. UR sealed the victory with A 9-0 run at the end of the game.
“It was a close game throughout,” sophomore center Megan Fish said. “I did not even realize the differential when we made our last run — there was never a big gap.”
Fish, who netted a career-best 16 points, emphasized strong defense. The Yellowjackets forced the Bears into 24 turnovers, scoring 19 points off of Washington miscues.
In addition to strong play on both ends, the Yellowjackets burning desire to knock off their bitter rival was a driving force behind the victory.Carozza’s 14 points were a career-high, as were sophomore Kelly Wescott’s 23.
“We knew how upsetting it was to lose by nine at Wash. U when we knew we could beat them,” Carrozza said. “Since then, no member of the team or coaching staff had the slightest doubt in our minds that we would win when they came here. We came out and played one of the best collective team games of our season. It has to be a total team effort in order to beat a high caliber team like Wash U.”
On Friday night at the Palestra, the Yellowjackets crushed Chicago 78-57, breaking school record while shooting an incredible 75 percent from the 3-point range. It was the best percentage in UR history, as the team busted the nine-year record with nine 3s.
Junior Erika Smith, Carrozza and Gotstein scored in bunches. Smith led UR with 18 points, followed by 14 from Carrozza and 12 from Gotstein. Carrozza also handed out seven assists.
After the successful weekend, the team must get ready for its game against Carnegie Mellon University on Saturday. A win is crucial for UR as it waits to hear from the Tournament commitee about a NCAA birth.
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