CHICAGO -- Taylor Simpson posted game highs with 22 points and 14 rebounds as the University of Chicago women's basketball team edged fifth-ranked Washington (Mo.) University 73-71 in the University Athletic Association opener for both teams Saturday at the Ratner Athletics Center.
Chicago (9-3 overall, 1-0 UAA) held an eight-point lead, 70-62, entering the final minute of play, before Washington (9-3, 0-1) hit three 3-point baskets during a :15 span to close the gap to 73-71 with :39 to go.
Washington had a chance to tie in the game's closing seconds, but Chicago Morgan Herrick blocked Dani Hoover's layup attempt to preserve the Maroons' fifth consecutive victory. Herrick rejected five shots on the afternoon.
The teams played to a 33-33 deadlock after a first half that featured five lead changes and five ties.
Simpson scored nine points during the first seven minutes of the second stanza as Chicago built its largest lead of the game, 52-40, with 13:55 remaining.
En route to notching her fourth double-double of the year, Simpson connected on eight of 12 shots from the floor and six of eight from the foul line. She converted three 3-point plays as part of her career-best 22 points.
Meghan Herrick reached double digits for the seventh straight contest with 17 points, while Joann Torres added a career-high 12 points.
Hoover paced the Bears with 17 points, including five three-point baskets. Kathryn Berger and Kristin Anda each finished with 13.
The Maroons continue their five-game homestand against UAA rival University of Rochester Friday, Jan. 14 at 6 p.m. Friday's game will mark Chicago's sixth annual Beach Night promotion.