This season’s women of the University of Chicago Maroons basketball team won their 30th straight game on Jan. 9 at the Gerald Ratner Athletic Center against the Marian University Sabres of Fond du Lac, Wis., 63-52.
The streak is currently the longest in Division III and has the Maroons ranked second in the nation, according to
Maroons Head Coach Aaron Roussell said he believes his team’s streak has been possible because of the women’s tenacity and ability to learn from their
mistakes. He said teams tend to learn lessons on how to become better following a loss.
“Our kids have been good because they have been able to learn those lessons without taking a loss,” Roussell said. “We have an attitude, mindset and mentality that we are going to go out there, and we’re going to not just win, but dominateevery possession.”
According to Roussell, the team coasted in the second half against the Sabres and did not have the same energy that it had to start the game.
“I didn’t think our bench went in there with a mindset that we were going to end that game,” Roussell said. “We need to be deeper than what we showed [Jan. 9].”
The Maroons’ offense made 14 percent of its shots in the second half and was only able to score 21 points, 14 of which came from the foul line.
The Maroons’ trouble converting on their shot attempts in the second half allowed the Sabres to make a run and cut the U of C’s lead to 11 with just more than two minutes remaining in the game.
The U of C’s bench shot 24 percent and was responsible for 15 of the team’s turnovers.
The Sabres played a full-court pressure defense for the majority of the second half, which caused 15 of the Maroons’
“Twenty-four turnovers is way too many, [and] a little disconcerting with how poorly we took care of the basketball,” Roussell said. “They took us out of our game, and when we got pressured we didn’t want anything to do with the basketball.”
Even with its second-half struggles, the Maroons’ dominant performance in the first half was too much for Marian University to come back from. The Sabres’ only lead came two minutes into the game, so they had to play catch-up the rest of the way.
After the tip-off, Maroons’ forward Taylor Simpson was found streaking to the basket for an easy layup. The team went on to outscore the Sabres 42-23 in the first half, holding its opponent to 26 percent shooting from the field. Roussell has confidence that his team will be able to build off the win and play better moving forward.
“I’m focused on [the next game] and making sure we bounce back and [are] playing a little bit harder than we did [on Jan. 9],” Roussell said.