Season-high Shooting Percent; Smothering Defense leads Women's Basketball to Win on Senior Day

Crusaders offense shot a season-high field goal percentage in Sunday's Senior Day triumph.
Crusaders offense shot a season-high field goal percentage in Sunday's Senior Day triumph.

(Photo Courtesy of anthonymazur@amnewsnet.com)

IRVING, Texas – The University of Dallas women's basketball team enjoyed its highest scoring conference game this season, and coupled the good shooting with stout defense that led to a 71-54 win over Schreiner University on Sunday.

Dallas shot just below 50 percent with a 48.2-clip, and limited its opposition to 27 percent. Up two after one quarter, the Crusaders outscored Schreiner by 10 thanks to 12 unanswered points to go up 34-22 at halftime. UD pulled the game out of reach with 9-for-17 shooting (52.9%) in the next 10 minutes out of the break to net 21 points.

This was a great win for UD, who snapped a four-game skit to move to 9-15 overall and 3-10 in conference. The team recognized a trio of seniors prior to the first tip. Shelby Waldron (Banning, Calif.), Helen Onyenso (Oak Park, Ill.), and Michelle DeCoud (Monument, Colo.) received a great ovation and contributed to the team's successful day.

The Mountaineers fell to 6-17 and 4-8.

HOW IT HAPPENED

After trailing 11-7 through the first six minutes, the Crusaders called a timeout and responded with a three-pointer by Celsi Caraway (Arlington, Texas). Vanessa Diaz (San Antonio, Texas) put the home team up 12-11. The team never trailed the rest of the quarter, as it ended up 16-14.

DeCoud had the first basket of the second quarter, but Danielle Cain Mountaineers netted the next five points to go in front one last time in the game. Cain nailed a trifecta to put SU up 19-18. After Diaz and Jules Olivetti (Southlake, Texas) scored for Dallas, the road squad answered with another three by Abigail Hewitt to knot the score at 22.

The Crusaders rolled to a big lead by closing the final four minutes on a 12-0 run. Diaz had the go-ahead free throws and finished with four at the line during the span. Madilyne Borjon (San Antonio, Texas) and Caraway each had a three-point field goal, while DeCoud contributed the other field goal.

Schreiner was held without any points the final 4:50 minutes. The team got a successful jumper 15 seconds into the third quarter. However, UD answered with nine points coming from three trifectas. DeCoud posted two with classmate Waldron finding the bottom of the net in between for her lone look from deep.

DeCoud took over with 17 points in the second half, including 12 in the team's highest scoring frame. The Crusaders scoring stretch propelled the team to a 17-point lead three minutes in. Eventually the advantage ballooned to 20 (49-29) with under five in the period.

The Mountaineers had a final push during the same time frame of the last 10-minute quarter. Five free throws, including an and-one on a made basket aided the team's effort at cutting the deficit to 13. That was as close as it got as DeCoud drained her third trifecta to help ensure a positive outcome.  

STATISTICAL NOTABLES

DeCoud paced the Crusaders with a game-high 23 points. She grabbed 14 rebounds to notch her 10th double-double on the campaign. The career record holder in blocks totaled three, along with classmate Onyenso. Onyenso hustled for a game-high 15 rebounds to match a season-best. The forward also equaled her 500th rebound for her career, and is the 11th player to achieve that feat.

Diaz was the next highest scorer with 19 points. She shot 6-for-8 from the floor and went 7-for-8 at the free throw line. She and Panda Green (Farmersville, Texas) were the only Crusaders to shoot at the foul line, which the team went 10-of-13 from. Diaz also notched eight boards, which the Crusaders held a 45-29 advantage on. Dallas also led 30-14 on points in the paint, and 17-11 in assists.

Schreiner was able to edge UD 10-0 on the fastbreak, and benefitted 18-2 on points from miscues. Dallas committed 16 turnovers compared to six by the Mountaineers.

Jordyn Villa and Kendra Brown were the team's top scorers in double figures with 17 and 13 points. Each side had a short bench with five combined reserves.

TIP-INS

The Crusaders notched nine blocks for a season-high. That is four away from the single-game record.

Dallas was able to eclipse 1,000 rebounds this season and hold a 1,115 total compared to 993 for opponents.

DeCoud cracked the top-five in career points by passing Hall of Famer Ashley Smith (1,296) on Sunday. She was one behind entering play, and now has 1,318. DeCoud also improved to 2nd all-time in rebounds with 836. She moved above Cara Sczepanski (828).

SOCIAL MEDIA

UP NEXT

Dallas concludes the regular season at Colorado College on February 17th. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. (MST).