Crusaders stymied late by Texas Lutheran

Tso led all Crusaders with 17 points. Added 4 assists.
Tso led all Crusaders with 17 points. Added 4 assists.

IRVING, Texas –The University of Dallas women's basketball team (7-6, 0-3 SCAC) could not overcome the defense of Texas Lutheran University (10-3, 2-0 SCAC) in the early and late stages of the game on Sunday. Locked in a tie at 59-all with 7:33 left in regulation, the Bulldogs swiped six of their 16 steals in the game and added a pair of blocks on the last two shot attempts by the Crusaders in a 72-66 final.  


(Individual Notes)

- Sammi Tso (Las Vegas, Nev.) led the team for the 2nd straight game with 17 points. It was her 4th contest to reach double-digits. She also dished four assists, which is the 4th time this season to equal that number or above.

- Seana Stoia (Tulsa, Okla.) tossed in 15 points, and hit her first three treys (all in the first half).

- Michelle DeCoud rounded out the trio of double figure performers with 11 points and seven rebounds (team-high).

- Holly Tonry (Seattle, Wash.) had eight points and dished five assists.

- TLU's Cierra Jordan had a huge day on both sides of the ball with a game-high 19 points. She also contributed six rebounds, six steals, and two blocks.

- Savannah Hight poured in 14 points, while Bailey Champion, Kristen Lye, and Kasey Hairell all had nine apiece. Hairell, who came off the bench, led the team in rebounds with seven.

- Caitlin Rendon recorded four blocks. Her and Jordan had six of the team's nine.

(Team Notes)

- Dallas shot 46.9 percent from the field compared to 49.1 percent by the Bulldogs.

- UD posted its best three-point shooting percentage on the campaign with a 53.3 percent clip (8-15). The eight made treys tied a season-high in consecutive games and for the 4th time.

- Dallas dished 13 assists compared to nine for the Bulldogs.

- Texas Lutheran won the battle on the boards 34-27. This included 15-10 difference on the offensive glass. The Crusaders total was a season-low accumulated.

- The road team forced 20 turnovers and committed 14. This led to a 23-17 edge for TLU in points off turnovers. The Bulldogs also enjoyed positive margins with points in the paint at 40-26 and second chance points at 15-7.


Texas Lutheran leaped out the gate with 10-of-12 points scored first and boasted a 14-4 advantage with just over five minutes past in the opening quarter. Dallas had three turnovers in just as many possessions at the start of the game and four within the starting six. Jordan rang in a trifecta to start the game for the Bulldogs off a steal by Caitlin Rendon. After Tso's jump shot answered to make it 3-2, seven straight points rattled off on the guest's side of the scoreboard. This included a second three of the contest by Jordan, and then Lye capped the spurt with a field goal. After a pair of free throws by DeCoud at 5:40 ended a two and a half minute drought, the Bulldogs got points from Caitlin Rendon and Lye, respectively.

Celsi Caraway (Arlington, Texas) responded with a three-pointer to cut the deficit to seven, and then an 8-0 run followed a TLU free throw to knot the score back at 15-all. The last minute in the first quarter closed with both teams etching points at the charity stripe. Jordan made both of hers to put the squad up at the break. DeCoud split making the first-of-two.

A DeCoud layup started the second quarter with the Crusaders in front for the first time all afternoon. After a countered basket by the Bulldogs, Tso sank both of her three-pointers of the game on back-to-back Dallas possessions. The home team led 24-19 after the second trifecta. TLU stormed on with an 8-2 run to take a narrow one-point edge, but Stoia's triple flipped the score back in favor of the Crusaders 29-27. Three of the final four field goals made by UD in the stanza were three-pointers by Stoia. Her second one at 1:54 tied the score 34-34, and then again with about 30 seconds at 38-all. Texas Lutheran earned a 40-38 halftime lead on free throws by Caitlin Cote with 12 ticks remaining. 

The 38 points were a season-most in a first half by the Crusaders against a confernce opponent this year in three outings. It was also the first time to surpass the 30-point plateau through 20 minutes against same opposition. 

A Tso layup and Caraway jump shot gave UD the first lead change of the second half. Bailey Champion scored the next four to reclaim the lead and Lye completed an old fashioned three-point play to stretch a 47-42 edge. Champion added a layup to finish streak of nine TLU points. Down nine with a little over three minutes, Caitlyn Worry (Lumberton, Texas) put down a trey and followed with a jumper to cut the margin to four. An inside field goal by Jackie Landry (Anaheim, Calif.) cut things to a pair. That would be the closest in the third quarter that Dallas got as Tonry's layup made it 55-53 with time expiring.

This contest featured 10 lead changes and nine ties. There were three ties within three-of-four field goals to start the last frame. Stoia's layup after Tso's made it 57-55, but the final lead change came on Lye's two free throws after Hairell put in the first TLU points at 8:37. DeCoud's layup tied things a final time at 59-all, but Hairell had the go-ahead jumper that started a 6-0 run. Tonry nipped the gap in half with a trey, but Hight countered with a layup and then Jordan extended the lead to seven (69-62) on two free throws that came after a pair of UD misses at the line.

Tso did put in both free throws on a technical foul issued to the Bulldog's bench. That brought Dallas within four (69-65), but a steal prior to the technical and steal after on two possessions by the Crusaders made it difficult to gain any closer ground. 


Dallas is on the road for two conference games next starting with Austin College on January 13. Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m.