No. 2 Chicago upends Wheaton (Ill.)
Thunder surrender two leads as Maroons earn victory
WHEATON, Ill. -- While No. 25 Wheaton (Ill.) held a lead at halftime and with five minutes left in the game, second-ranked Chicago rallied back in the closing minutes to win 71-60 on Wednesday.
The Thunder drop to 2-3 while the Maroons run their record to 5-0.
The first half played evenly for both sides. Chicago got the early advantage by forcing the ball into the post and driving baseline to the basket. Wheaton's defense countered by fronting the post effectively and forced turnovers in the passing lanes.
Elisabeth Potts was the hot shooter, running off screens to get open looks at 3-pointers. A pair of her treys tied the scored at 26-26. Wheaton's run at the end of the half gave it a 33-30 lead at the break.
The Maroons came out aggressively in the second half, ramping up its man-to-man defense and stroking jumpers. A 14-2 opening run by the visitors put them on top 44-35 in the first five minutes.
Wheaton, however, turned again to Potts. The senior forward kept hitting her threes, making five of six from beyond the arc in the game. The Thunder got into transition off several turnovers and raced in for layups to recapture the lead at 55-52 halfway through the period.
But a step-back 3-pointer by Chicago's Joann Torres proved to be the turning point. The basket put the Maroons up 60-58 in the final four minutes, and Chicago proceeded to finish layup after layup thanks to a number of offensive rebounds.
Wheaton ended up shooting 22 of 56 from the field (39 percent), 7 of 20 from 3-point range (35 percent) and 9 of 14 from the free throw line (64 percent). Potts hit 7 of 11 shots total, collecting a game-high 20 points. Lauren Graham scored 12 points while Maris Hovee added eight points and 10 rebounds.
Chicago shot 26 of 58 from the field (45 percent), 3 of 12 from beyond the arc (25 percent) and 16 of 24 from the charity stripe (67 percent). Meghan Herrick scored 16 points with seven rebounds despite early foul trouble. Morgan Herrick tallied 13 points and Taylor Simpson finished with nine points and 11 rebounds.