GEORGETOWN, Texas – The University of Dallas women's basketball team closed the month of January with a 59-51 setback at Southwestern University on Saturday. The Crusaders edged their opponent 18-14 in the last two quarters, but were unable to overcome a large halftime deficit.
The Pirates took advantage of 10 points off turnovers in the first quarter to go up by nine. An 11-2 run to close the last three minutes of the next quarter lifted them to a 31-15 halftime lead. Dallas had combined for 15 turnovers at that juncture and finished with 21 overall.
Dallas drops to 8-12 overall and 2-7 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) play. The Pirates improved to 8-11 and 4-4 in conference action after winning their third straight. The Crusaders went 0-2 in the season series.
HOW IT HAPPENED
It was a slow start for both teams with neither getting on the board until three minutes had gone by. Noel Pratts scored a jumper to get Southwestern in front. Just under six to play, Helen Onyenso (Oak Park, Ill.) finally ended UD's scoreless start to make it 2-2.
After a free throw for Southwestern, Shelby Waldron (Banning, Calif.) drained a trey to give the Crusaders their only lead of the game. Zhazze Brown answered with a triple at 3:40 and then Madison Edwards hit a three-point shot as well. Onyenso hit the final UD basket that frame to narrow the score to 9-7, but the Pirates netted 13 of the final 15 points since that Brown three-pointer. Edwards had another trey of her own as time expired.
In the next period, the Crusaders worked the gap down to seven after Madilyn Borjon (San Antonio, Texas) knocked in a trifecta with three to go. However, Southwestern answered with a big scoring stretch to lead by double-digits at the break.
Dallas trailed by as many as 20 early in the second half, but a layup and two free throws by Vanessa Diaz (San Antonio, Texas) started cutting into the margin. The freshman finished with six in the quarter and had all of them during a streak of seven points in a row for UD. A 9-for-14 effort at the free throw line in the third helped the Crusaders gain their overall amount of points. The deficit was down to 10 points on four different occasions.
Waldron hit a couple three-pointers in the final quarter, with each getting Dallas within single-digits. Her last trey with 19 seconds made it a 58-51 deficit, but the Crusaders could not come any closer. They scored a 7-0 advantage in points off turnovers that frame.
Onyenso tied a game-high 12 points and almost had a double-double on consecutive days with nine rebounds. This included seven offensive rebounds. Diaz added 11 points thanks to a 7-for-10 showing at the line. Michelle DeCoud (Monument, Colo.) chipped in nine points, while she and Diaz both grabbed seven boards. Waldron etched all nine of her points from a trio of field goals from downtown.
Dallas shot 28.6 percent overall and 6-of-22 from three-point territory. The team went 50 percent (13-26) for free throws. Southwestern posted a 38.2 field goal shooting percentage, 5-for-16 (31.3%) showing in three-pointers, and 12-for-23 (52.2%) effort in free throws. The Pirates held a slight advantage on the boards 44-42. After starting out with a lot of turnovers, UD actually committed fewer miscues 26-21. The Pirates had 15 in the second half and nine in the final quarter.
Pratts led the Pirates by matching the highest individual scoring performance with 12 and added five rebounds. Kelsey Faykus added 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Brown and Edwards each shot 2-for-3 in three-point field goals.
10 steals by Dallas tied a conference high this season. The other was the season opener versus Colorado College (Dec. 16). Onyenso and DeCoud each had four, while Diaz swiped the other pair.
The Crusaders eclipsed 50 blocks on the season and now have 51 altogether. Besides two contests, they have recorded at least one blocked shot, with the all-time leader DeCoud boasting 31.
A day after making a conference-best in field goals, UD totaled its fewest made shots in a league game with 16.
Dallas is back on the road next weekend with another pair of SCAC games starting with Centenary College on February 2nd. Tip-off is down for around 7:30 p.m. The next day the Crusaders are at Austin College for another evening tilt.