DENVER, Colo. – The University of Dallas women's basketball team grabbed its first win on the season beating Johnson & Wales University 76-72 on Sunday afternoon. The Crusaders (1-10, 1-3 SCAC) had five players reach double-figures in points. Dallas scored its most points in a quarter on the season in the first two periods, notching 21 in both frames to open up a considerable lead. JWU (0-10, 0-5 SCAC) made it close down the stretch outscoring UD 29-19 in the final quarter, but UD made key free throws late to secure the tight conference win.
Dallas opened up their lead in the first period 16-12. At this point, UD went on a 5-0 run with a layup by Tiffani Lowe (San Francisco, Calif.) and Gracie Williams (Midwest City, Okla.). Katey Guzman then hit a fastbreak layup with time expiring to help the Wildcats get within seven after one period (21-14). In the second, Williams expanded the lead to 28-17 after a big trey at the 6:48 minute mark. After two made three-pointers and a layup JWU got the lead down to five (30-25). Dallas continued to hit shots from behind the arc as UD grabbed a 42-30 halftime lead.
Both teams traded points in the third until a 7-0 run capped off by Taylor Jobe's three-pointer (Queen Creek, Ariz.) helped UD expand its lead to 51-37. Dallas eventually took a 57-43 lead into the final period. Faith Starnes (Bryan, Texas) continued a hot three-point shooting stretch for UD to put the Crusaders up 62-47. Five more UD points with help from Vanessa Diaz (San Antonio, Texas) put Dallas up 67-49 with six and half minutes left. The Wilcats then exploded for a 15-2 run. Dallas was down to just five players because of a couple of injuries at this point. This explosion made the final minute and a half a barn burner.
Diaz buried two free throws with 1:36 left. Katey Guzman then hit a big three to make it 71-67. With 21 seconds remaining Jobe made both of her free throws from the charity stripe, (75-69) but Avionne Gomez came down the court and hit a three-pointer of her own to cut the lead down to three with 21 seconds remaining. Jobe went one-of-two from the stripe. JWU put up a couple of late shots, but Dallas was able to hold on for the victory.
Diaz led the Crusaders matching a season-best 21 points along with six rebounds. Williams had a season-best 14 points. Jobe had a career-best 13 points, going 2-4 from behind the arc. Starnes and Lowe both posted 10 points. Jules Oliveti (Southlake, Texas) added eight points and 10 boards to near a double-double. Dallas shot 8-17 (47.1 percent) from behind the arc along with a season-high 56.8 percent from the field. UD won the battle in the paint picking up 32 points in that area.
Gomez led all scorers with 24 points and four rebounds. Guzman followed that outing with 19 points and six assists, while Salma Oros added 12 points and four rebounds. JWU shot a solid 91.7 percent from the charity stripe going 11-12. The Wildcats scored 21 points off of 27 UD turnovers in the game.
Dallas will start the new year with a home conference test against Trinity University of Friday (1/4). First tip is set for 4:00 p.m.