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IRVING, Texas – The University of Dallas women's basketball team dropped its Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) opener to Colorado College in a 65-57 decision on Saturday. The setback is the first at the Maher Center in four games this season for UD (4-4, 0-1 SCAC). The Tigers improved to 3-7 overall and 1-0 in the league.
Dallas trailed by 10 entering the final quarter. Despite being outshot 45.8 percent to 33.3 percent in field goals, the Crusaders mustered the highest total of points by either team in a period with 23 in the last one. Michelle DeCoud (Monument, Colo.) was involved largely with 14 points during that stanza, but the Tigers held on.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Each team struggled in the first quarter with neither reaching double-digits. The score was knotted at eight by the conclusion of the frame. Panda Green (Farmersville, Texas) connected on a pair of free throws to give Dallas an early lead thirty seconds in. The first field goal and next points of the game for the home side was a jumper by DeCoud with 4:07 left in the quarter.
Even with five minutes without any points, that basket made it a two-point game and separate free throws by Helen Onyenso (Oak Park, Ill.) and Madilyne Borjon (San Antonio, Texas) tied things at six. Onyenso's layup with 45 seconds finished the quarter 8-8.
The next quarter began more favorably as Celsi Caraway (Arlington, Texas) etched five early points with a layup and trifecta to open a 13-8 advantage.
Colorado College countered with six in a row that included a three-point play by Payton Katich and then trifecta from Mackenzee Gertz. The road team stretched the edge to as many as six with about a minute on a trey from Francesca Cendali.
UD's Borjon responded with an immediate jumper on the next possession to pull the Crusaders within 26-22 at intermission.
Caraway's trey five seconds into the second half made it a one-point game. Colorado College struck for five straight that started with a three by Katich. The Tigers hit eight field goals from deep in the game and had three in the third quarter. Jordan Meltzer hit with four and a half minutes to post a nine-point (38-29) lead, and Gertz was good from behind the arc to make the lead double-digits for the first time with beneath a minute left.
The first points of the last quarter went to CC, as Meltzer made a steal and drove for a fastbreak layup. The largest margin of the game was 12, but UD nipped the gap in half to six with 7:34 (48-42). Olivia Severson's (La Crosse, Wis.) old fashioned three-point play got the score to that display.
DeCoud was responsible for 12-of-15 Dallas points down the stretch to the end of the game. Her three at 4:12 made it a five-point deficit. A few plays later, Caraway snatched a steal and then passed to Green who dished an assist to Onyenso for a quick layup that shrank the gap (four points) to the closest in the game since 7:52 in the third.
A resilient Tigers team had Casey Torbet drain a three with three minutes and a layup followed a UD miss to make it a nine-point advantage. Colorado College put the game away with all six of its free throws in the remaining minute counting for good. The Tigers were 13-for-17 at the line compared to 10-of-19 by Dallas.
DeCoud entered the season with one successful three-pointer. The forward knocked down her first four attempts this year, which included her second of the game with 10 seconds to bring the deficit to six. That trifecta also helped her secure a new season-high 22 points. DeCoud did miss on an attempt in the closing ticks.
Caraway followed DeCoud's game-high in scoring with a 17-point performance. She posted four rebounds and steals. Green dished seven dimes, while DeCoud and Jules Oliveti (Southlake, Texas) were the top rebounders on the team with five apiece.
UD scored a 26-22 advantage for points in the paint. Despite forcing nine more turnovers (33-24), it was the Tigers that edged 20-11 on points off turnovers. Colorado College also benefited on the glass with a 38-29 difference.
Gertz paced the Tigers with 18 points and 16 rebounds for a double-double. She was 4-of-9 shooting from long range. Meltzer tossed in 12 points off the bench for the other double-digit scorer. She came up with five steals, as the team amassed 13. The Crusaders came up with 10 swipes.
DeCoud registered a block in the final 23 seconds of the game to tie the school record with 108 for her career. She joins Joirdan Cole as the individual career leader for that category in the program.
DeCoud also moved into the top five in the record books for career rebounds. Her 685 lift her above former teammate Brooke Hagemann by three.
The Crusaders have picked up 10 or more steals in four straight contests. The team has achieved that feat in six out of eight games this year.
Dallas resumes non-conference play tomorrow with Rhodes College. Tip-off is slated at 3 p.m. The Crusaders are back on the home floor Tuesday with their second meeting of the season with Hendrix College. Scheduled first tip is at 5:30 p.m.