IRVING, Texas – The University of Dallas women's basketball team closed out 2017 with a 75-62 setback to Sul Ross State University at the Maher Center on Sunday. Despite the Lobos shooting 38.1 percent they made 11 three-pointers out of 26 attempts for a 42.3-clip.
Helen Onyenso (Oak Park, Ill.) led the Crusaders with a career-high 31 points (17 in the 3rd quarter). A 19-14 third period helped the home team pull within three points, but the Lobos used a 24-14 difference in the last frame to improve to 4-9 on the year. Dallas fell to 5-6 overall.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Dallas scored the first pair of field goals to jump out 4-0 and held the Lobos without a point for over two and a half minutes. The visitors countered with back-to-back threes and counted four in the quarter to help boast an early advantage. Sul Ross State led by as many as six, with a trey by Erica Powell pushing that margin a second time (16-10) with just under three minutes left.
The Crusaders used a layup by Onyenso and jumper by Michelle DeCoud (Monument, Colo.) to get within two. SRSU's Powell hit the first of two free throws with 1:06 to finish the scoring in the opening stanza.
DeCoud cut the deficit to one on a jumper nine seconds into the next quarter, but a 13-4 run swung the momentum back to the Lobos. Two trifectas on consecutive Sul Ross State field goals capped that run and opened a 10-point lead (30-20) with 5:41 before intermission. Powell notched the triple that made it a double-digit gap for the first time.
UD did reduce the margin in half with 2:35 before the break, but went into it down 37-29. Sul Ross State had shot 7-of-16 from deep.
Onyenso poured the next 17 points in the third quarter to help the Crusaders get back within one possession a couple occasions. A 9-4 run favoring Dallas started the first 3:11 minutes in the period. Onyenso knocked down both free throws to narrow the score 41-38. After the next four points went to SRSU, the senior forward dropped in back-to-back layups to negate the run. Her final layup after a two-minute scoring drought answered a layup by Sul Ross State's Jessy Stanley to make it 47-44.
Onyenso's previous personal-high was 21 points earlier this campaign at Dallas Christian College (Dec. 15th). She nearly matched that total and was responsible for all but one field goal a pair of points in the frame. Her classmate DeCoud netted the other on a jumper with six seconds to send The Crusaders behind 51-48 into the last 10 minutes.
The Lobos surged away for good as a trio of three-pointers during the first four field goals allowed them to pull out to as many as 13 points within the first three minutes of the remaining quarter of regulation. After Dallas missed a trey, Taylor Gass hit one to put her squad up 54-48. Two turnovers on each of UD's next possessions gave SRSU a chance to increase the margin. Powell had a steal and layup, while Annie Lenoir drained a three to make it a 13-point gap. Dallas trailed by as many as 14, and tried to stretch the time out as long as possible, but never were behind under double-digits the rest of the way.
Onyenso scored a game-high thanks to a career-most 13 field goals. DeCoud followed with her fifth double-double on the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds (team-high). DeCoud matched a career-high five assists – tying her total against Trinity University in 2016-17 in Irving. Onyenso made three steals and grabbed seven boards. Celsi Caraway (Arlington, Texas) was second on the squad in rebounds (8), while Panda Green (Farmersville, Texas) dished a game-high six dimes.
Dallas shot 41.4 percent from the floor and 13-for-18 (72.2%) at the free throw line. The team edged Sul Ross State on the glass 39-36. UD was effective scoring inside with 40 points in the paint compared to 16. The Lobos forced 26 turnovers and were able to gain 23 points off the miscues. They committed 21 turnovers themselves. Finally, the bench for Sul Ross State tossed in 32 points.
The Lobos were led by Gass with 19 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double. Powell and Lenoir were reserves that scored 16 and 10 points, respectively. The top scoring tandem for SRSU combined for 10 steals with five each. Sul Ross State came away with 15 steals.
DeCoud increased her career number of field goals to 446, which places her fourth all-time in the Dallas women's basketball program. She surpassed Delilah Whisenhunt, who had 444.
Onyenso tallied the most points by a Dallas player in a single contest this year. She is the first player to eclipse 30 points since DeCoud did it consecutive outings last winter (Jan. 14th, Jan. 17th)
This is the third time on the year that UD was credited at least 20 assists. It tied the second most and was two shy of a season-high.
Dallas begins 2018 with two road games against Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) foes. The trip starts at Trinity University on January 5th with a 7:30 p.m. tip. The next day, UD is at Schreiner University.