The UR women’s basketball team had high hopes heading into last weekend’s road trip to the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis.
Coming off of a six-game winning streak – including a victory over high-ranking Brandeis University – the team was excited to face two other top University Athletic Association teams.
The Yellowjackets flew out to Chicago to face the Maroons for the second time this season. UR had previously lost to Chicago, currently 8-4 in the UAA, 82-74, in a hard-fought overtime match on Jan. 23.
The Maroons came out strong with their home court advantage and put out a 7-0 run in the first minute of the game.
Following a UR timeout, a layup by senior Megan Fish, a quick jumper by Chicago player Susie Gutowski and a three-pointer by junior Jessie Graham brought the score to 9-5.
For the remainder of the half, Chicago extended that four-point lead to a 17-point lead.
The Yellowjackets went into the break behind the Maroons, 44-27.
Not to be frustrated by the score, UR came out in the second half and chipped away at the Chicago lead.
Sophomore Danielle Muller had two consecutive hoops that started the gradual UR comeback. Two made free throws by senior Kelly Wescott brought the score to 59-54 at the 7:10 minute mark.
The Maroons pushed their lead up to eight points, then Muller nailed a three-pointer with a little under two minutes left in the game, bringing the score to 66-61. With the clock running down, UR was unable to overcome the Chicago lead. The Yellowjackets ultimately fell to the Maroons, 70-61.
Leading UR in scoring was Muller with 13 points – 11 of which came in the second half – and four assists.
Muller also led all rebounders, taking down 11 boards for the night. Wescott contributed with 12 points and six rebounds. She also went six for six from the free-throw line.
The Yellowjackets then traveled to St. Louis to face the Washington University Bears – currently ranked ninth in the country by D3hoops.com. The first half began with a layup from Fish, and the score remained close for the next 10 minutes.
At 16:20, a pair of free throws from Muller started a 7-0 run that would bring the score to 12-6, giving UR their greatest lead of the game.
The Bears took control of the game at the 11:47 minute mark and never let go. With a 14-point lead at halftime, Washington’s offense extended the lead by shooting 55.2 percent from the field and 71.4 percent from behind the arc. The Yellowjackets fell to the Bears, 78-56.
UR is now 6-7 in the UAA, with an overall record of 14-10. The Yellowjackets were led in scoring and rebounding by Muller with 13 points and eight boards. Sophomore Emily Bango dished out five assists.
“Wash U. and Chicago are both great teams who brought their A-game against us,” Fish said. “We’d like to end the season on a positive note and are focused on Saturday’s game against Carnegie.”
The Yellowjackets’ final regular season game on Feb. 26 is also Senior Day – honoring seniors Megan Damcott, Fish, Zalika Green, Ashley Latimer and Wescott.
The team hopes to spend its last regular season game in front of a packed Palestra crowd.
The women’s game begins at 2 p.m., followed by the men’s game at 4 p.m. Come out to fill the stands and show support for the Yellowjackets.
McLean can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.