This weekend yielded mixed results for Rochester basketball teams, with the women’s team suffering losses against Washington University and the University of Chicago, while the men came home with a clean sweep over these teams.
UR Women’s Basketball (URWB) hit an unexpected rut in the middle of their season, losing two consecutive games and ending a ten-game winning streak. The loss against WashU on Friday resulted in a three-way tie between the Yellowjackets, WashU, and NYU for first place in the UAA heading into the game against UChicago.
The ‘Jackets stepped into the gym on Sunday determined to redeem their loss. Sophomore forward Al Leslie stepped up against UChicago, scoring 22 points and recording 18 rebounds to keep Rochester in the game. Despite a standout performance by Leslie, UR lost a heartbreaker with the final score resting at 58–56 after a closing layup by the Bears. The team came home with an overall record of 15–3.
Assistant coach Kaitlin Donahoe said that, although the Midwest trip did not turn out as the team had hoped or expected, it opened their eyes to the improvements that they needed to make going forward. “We have a great opportunity to improve as a unit this week in practice and have another crack at the same teams this weekend in the Palestra,” said Donahoe. “I know our players will be ready.”
With a home-court advantage for their next four games, the first two of which will be against WashU and UChicago, the Yellowjackets hope to record victories in the upcoming UAA weekend.
Contrarily, URBB defeated both WashU and UChicago, sweeping their Midwest trip for the first time in a quarter century. The team demonstrated their resilience in the game against WashU on Friday night, coming back from a 20–7 deficit that was amassed within the first four minutes and 26 seconds.
“We were able to play through it, maintain our composure, and kept battling for the rest to give ourselves a chance to win it,” Head Coach Luke Flockerzi said. “We had a handful of people step up and make big plays down the stretch.”
UR’s win against UChicago tied both teams for second place in the league, and Flockerzi is confident that they will carry this weekend’s momentum into their upcoming games against the same squads at home.
The program has developed a team dynamic and atmosphere that contributes to the team’s success. “Returning players have all played key roles for us and the talented group of newcomers have complimented that,” Flockeri said. “Everyone is playing key roles, from seniors to freshmen.”
Both the women’s and men’s teams play on Friday and Sunday in the Palestra against WashU and UChicago, respectively.