Austin College withstands Women's Basketball Upset Bid 58-54

Crusaders fall Friday in SCAC Quarterfinal.
Crusaders fall Friday in SCAC Quarterfinal.

GEORGETOWN, Texas – The No. 6 Seed University of Dallas women's basketball team was eliminated on Friday in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) by the No. 3 Seed Austin College. Playing in the second quarterfinal game at the Robertson Center, which is home to Southwestern University; the higher-seeded 'Roos came out strong with a 19-9 first quarter.

However, the Crusaders responded by outscoring their opposition 34-17 over the next 20 minutes. Up 45-36 after three quarters, Austin College outscored UD by 11 in the final frame to win 58-54.

NOTABLE STATISTICS

(Individual Notes)

- Michelle DeCoud (Monument, Colo.) and Seana Stoia (Tulsa, Okla.) each posted double-doubles with their 12th and 7th, respectively. Both post players had 13 rebounds to lead the squad.

- DeCoud and Stoia were part of a trio of double figure scorers with 14 and 12. Celsi Caraway (Arlington, Texas) split the duo with 13 points.

- Caraway eclipsed double-digits for the 4th time in her rookie season, and shot perfect from long distance (3-3). The guard also swiped three-of-five UD's steals. All of the visitor's steals came from reserve players.

- Holly Tonry (Seattle, Wash.) chipped in eight points and passed four assists.

- Austin College was led by Bryce Frank with a double-double and game-highs in points (21) and rebounds (15). Kendall Heitmeier was one point shy of a double-double with 10 boards.

- Frank and Olivia Bailey combined for 11-of-18 AC offensive boards with six and five, respectively.

- Kendra Rainey posted three blocks off the bench.

(Team Notes)

- Dallas shot 33.9 percent from the floor and limited the 'Roos to a 26.3-clip.

- However, Austin College shot 24-for-29 (82.8%) at the free throw line compared to UD's 46.2 percent (6-13).

- The Crusaders tied a season-best eight made three's.

- Dallas edged in assists 13-5.

- Austin College won the battle on the glass 48-42, which yielded a 15-7 edge in 2nd chance points.

HOW IT HAPPENED

The early momentum went to the 'Roos as Frank scored on her first jumper and the team's second shot attempt of the game to take the first lead. DeCoud, who ranks behind Frank as the top two rebounders in the conference and are both within the top five in scoring; countered with a basket a minute and a half into the stanza to tie it 2-2. Austin College netted eight-of-10 points that started with an Ann Savage trifecta.

Up by as many as eight (14-6) through the first five minutes, Dallas climbed back within five after a Helen Onyenso (Oak Park, Ill.) jumper brought the score to 14-9 with about three minutes left. After a missed trey, the 'Roos retained possession on an offensive board and Olivia Cicci drained one deep to expand the margin back to eight. Eventually two Heitmeier free throws completed the scoring of the first quarter.

In the second frame, after the Crusaders fell to their largest deficit of the contest (21-9) at 8:25, the defense stifled Austin College to just three points until intermission. Meanwhile, UD nipped the gap with 12 unanswered points all coming on three-point players. DeCoud began the surge at 7:31 with a jumper and drew the foul. After her make at the line cut it to nine, Caraway scored a three-pointer on the next Dallas possession to make is a six-point game.

The freshman matched her total makes from three against Trinity University in the Maher Center (January 22) and dialed them all in a row. Her back-to-back makes on UD possessions after a Stoia miss tied the game at 21 just past the midway point of the quarter.

Frank halted the run by getting an offensive rebound after a missed three and scored back on the inside jumper to make it 23-21 at 3:49. A little over two minutes later, her top five scoring counterpart DeCoud answered with an inside look. Rainey lifted the 'Roos to a 24-23 halftime advantage by making the front-end of two free throws with three seconds on the clock.

It was the Crusaders that got hot in the third quarter, tallying their highest amount of points in a 10-minute frame this game with 20 points. After allowing some points to Austin College in the first moments, it was UD that strung a 10-0 run together and forged ahead by six (35-29) with 5:18 to go. Caitlyn Worry (Lumberton, Texas) nailed her lone three to propel the team in front by one and DeCoud and Tonry followed with a jumper and trey.

The 'Roos answered to make it a two-point gap (35-33) and 2:41 remaining, but Stoia came back with a three for the Navy and White. With about a minute left, DeCoud's layup after getting an offensive rebound led to the team's greatest lead of the game at seven (42-35). AC split free throws on the next play and then Caraway capped the scoring in the period with one-of-two at the line herself. Carway had three points that quarter and they counted within the final five Dallas points.

Cold shooting burdened both teams as it took four and a half minutes in the last quarter for either side to record a field goal. The 'Roos had reduced the margin to three on four free throws over the span, and Heitmeier's first field goal of the frame was for three and knotted the board at 43.

That was the final tie of the game and two free throws by the game's leading scorer, Frank, pushed the 'Roos ahead for good with 5:09. A couple ticks off the clock later, Stoia made the back-end of two free throws to cut the deficit in half (45-44). Frank did have the next six AC points counting her go-ahead free throws to make it a five-point game with 3:17.

DeCoud got Dallas' first field goal of the quarter barely past seven minutes through to narrow the gap at 49-46. A pair of Bailey free throws and trifecta by Savage sprang the 'Roos back in front by eight with a little over two minutes. The Crusaders were not ready for the final buzzer yet as Tonry and Stoia went back-to-back on treys with under 40 seconds to cut the score to one possession (57-54). With 12 ticks left, Austin College avoided the upset and split at the line to seal a four-point win.

UP NEXT

Dallas has concluded the 2016-17 season, while the 'Roos will advance to play the No. 2 Seed Texas Lutheran University on Saturday at 2 p.m.