The Carthage College women's basketball team (3-1, 0-0 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin), ranked 23rd in the Nov. 20 Women's Basketball Coaches Association/USA Today/ESPN NCAA Division III poll, upended No. 27 the University of Chicago (1-2), 68-46, on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 25 at Tarble Arena in Kenosha, Wis.
The game was close for the first 15 minutes. Chicago had a one-point lead, 21-20, at 4:30. Michelle Wenzel's layup at 4:08 put the Lady Reds up, 22-21. The Maroons didn't score again in the half, as Carthage closed out the period on a 15-0 run to go up by 14 points, 35-21. Chicago didn't score until the 17:55 mark in the second half, ending a scoreless gap of six minutes and 35 seconds. The Lady Reds used the opportunity to take a 20-point lead, 43-23 at 16:23. The Maroons got no closer than 13 points the rest of the way, as Carthage cruised to a 22-point victory, 68-46.
Carthage shot 39 percent (22-57), including four-of-17 three pointers, while Chicago shot just 28 percent (15-54) and hit on just seven-of-24 from three-point range. The Maroons did out-rebound the Lady Reds, 44-35, but turned the ball over 19 times to just seven for Carthage. The Lady Reds converted 20-of-26 free throws.
Three Carthage players scored in double figures. Michelle Wenzel (Jr., Darien, Wis./Delavan-Darien) scored a game-high 18 points on five-of-seven field goals, along with eight-of-nine free throws and four rebounds. Kristi Schmidt (Jr., Bloomington, Ill./Normal-Community) came off the bench to score 12 points on three-of-three shooting, along with six-of-eight from the free-throw line. Cailee Corcoran (Sr., Oak Lawn, Ill./Chicago-Marist) added 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Julie Muguira and Morgan Donovan each had 11 points for Chicago, with Muguira pilling down a game-high 13 boards.
"The game was back-and-forth until our 15-point run," said Carthage coach Tim Bernero, and everything seemed to work at that point. We defended great all the entire game. We made them shoot three-pointers and made it hard for them to score. Neither team was in the mode to press anyone, but we forced a lot of turnovers by being in the right spot. We also got the ball where we wanted it most of the game. Both of big girls, Michelle Wenzel and Kristi Schmidt, did a great job. Now I have one of those good problems in deciding which one to start against Clarke next Saturday. We're not a team that's going to lead the nation in shooting like we did two of the last three years, but if we're efficient, we'll be fine."
Carthage travels to Dubuque, Iowa, on Saturday, Dec. 1 to play Clarke University in a 1 p.m. game at the Kehl Center.