Women's Basketball pulls away from Dallas Christian in Season Opener

Crusaders use big 2nd half to secure 4th straight home-opening win.
Crusaders use big 2nd half to secure 4th straight home-opening win.

IRVING, Texas – The University of Dallas women's basketball team started the new campaign with a 70-45 victory over Dallas Christian College. The triumph counted as the first for new head coach Lacey Burns, and helped the Crusaders extend their winning streak to 22 over Dallas Christian who fell to 0-5. UD trailed 13-12 after one quarter, but outscored the guests 58-32 over the next 30 minutes en route to a 25-point win.

Dallas trailed early 4-1 before a trey by Celsi Caraway (Arlington, Texas) knotted the game and started a string of 11 straight points. Another three-pointer by Madilyne Borjon made it 10-4 during that run. The visiting Crusaders four consecutive free throws and then a three by Nyeia Bias cut the deficit to one with under 40 seconds. Sabreana Hardemon picked up a steal and knocked down a layup with five seconds left to close the last 2:24 minutes on a 9-0 run.

In the second quarter, Michelle DeCoud (Monument, Colo.) propelled Dallas back in front with the first seven points in less than two minutes. The senior had a game-high 19 points and shot 7-of-15 from the field.

Both sides were unable to find the bottom of the net for about three minutes. Jules Oliveti (Southlake, Texas) ended the drought at 5:55 with a layup. DCC's Bias hit a trey to cut the margin back down to five (21-16), but the home team increased the margin to the widest total at that point nine on a Jackie Landry (Anaheim, Calif.) inside shot. Dallas entered halftime up 28-22.

The home Crusaders took advantage of 35 turnovers that led to 23 points and had a 20-point edge (34-14) of scoring in the paint to help build a strong lead throughout the remainder of the contest.

A free throw by DeCoud with 6:19 left in the third frame marked the first time Dallas was up double-digits (39-29). That margin ballooned to 19 by the conclusion of the quarter. Olivia Severson (La Crosse, Wis.) drilled a last second three-pointer as the dual-sport women's soccer goalkeeper got a nice applause in front of her own bench.

In the last 10 minutes, UD extended the lead by more than 20 and for the first time at 6:24 reached the 27-point gap (65-38) on a layup by Oiveti. That juncture and the final field goal for the Navy and White at 24 seconds (67-43) tied the largest lead totals of the night.

DeCoud tied a game-high 19 points and led a quartet that notched double-digits for Dallas. Helen Onyenso and Caraway each had 14, while Oliveti tossed in 10 off the bench in her collegiate debut. Onyenso recorded her first career double-double with a game-high 11 rebounds. DeCoud added nine. Panda Green (Farmersville, Texas) dished a personal-best 10 assists.

Bias led the road Crusaders with 19 points and was part of a trio of players to tie a team-best six boards.

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Dallas plays its first road contest on November 21st at Hendrix College. First tip scheduled at 5:30 p.m.