SHREVEPORT, La. – The University of Dallas women's basketball team was edged by Centenary College 78-64 on Friday night at the Gold Dome. The Crusaders were unable to overcome a big halftime deficit, although they did outscore the home team 43-41 in the second half.
Vanessa Diaz (San Antonio, Texas) netted 16 of her career-high 23 points in the last 20 minutes, and shot over 50 percent (8-15) from the field. Dallas trailed by as many as 19, but did have a couple runs throughout the second half that dwindled the gap to below double-digits.
The setback drops Dallas to 8-13 on the season and 2-8 in the SCAC, while Centenary improved to 7-14 and 4-6.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Diaz scored the first points of the game to give the Crusaders a very early lead right out of the gate. However, Centenary answered back with a layup by Kayla King – who scored six of the first eight points for the Ladies.
Down 8-3 with about half to play in the first quarter, Michelle DeCoud (Monument, Colo.) drilled a trey, and then senior classmate Helen Onyenso (Oak Park, Ill.) counted a layup a few minutes later to make it a 10-8 deficit. That was as close as the Crusaders were able to get the score that period, as Centenary stretched the advantage with the next seven points.
Dallas went three minutes without scoring, but ended the first quarter on a Celsi Caraway (Arlington, Texas) half-court shot at the buzzer.
The Crusaders eventually knotted the game at 17 thanks to scoring the first six points in the next quarter. However 12 straight points lifted the home squad back to a sizeable lead, until UD's Diaz halted the scoreless run with a layup with 3:19. Centenary closed the frame with six-of-eight points to carry a 37-21 lead at intermission.
A three-pointer by Caraway gave Dallas a spark at closing the gap to nine after seven straight points made it 41-32. Diaz made two free throws and a layup to complete that spurt. The game's leading scorer and DeCoud combined for 18 points with half apiece. Dallas had 22 in the third overall for its highest scoring quarter.
Dallas could not narrow the margin any closer than nine the remainder of the game. The visitors compiled a 22-5 advantage on points off turnovers, which included a 13-4 edge in the third. This is after UD had allowed an 18-2 difference favoring the Ladies in the first half on such points.
Diaz poured double figures for her third straight game on this road trip and in four of the past five. She has achieved the feat six times in her rookie campaign. DeCoud followed with 16 points thanks to some sharp shooting at 7-for-8. Caraway chipped in 12 points off the bench. Jordyn Buell (Murrieta, Calif.) scored her first career points in her second outing this season.
Onyenso and Diaz combined for 17 rebounds with nine and eight, respectively. Panda Green (Farmersville, Texas) and Caraway each added six. The team was edged by one (48-47) to the Ladies. Points in the paint were even at 34, but Centenary benefited from second chance points 29-8.
King registered a double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds to go with four steals and three assists. Ethany Cosby claimed the other double-digit point total with 14 off the bench. Darelzray Bellard dished five dimes to lead all players.
Dallas has reached double figures in offensive rebounds the last five games in a row. The team has achieved that 17 times this year.
DeCoud now has made exactly 10 three-pointers this season. She had attempted that amount her first three seasons with the Crusaders.
Diaz shot exactly 7-for-10 at the free throw line the past two games.
Final | #UDCrusaders Women's Basketball drops Friday's game at Centenary. Diaz notched career-high 23 points, while DeCoud contributed 16. | @dallaswbb #GoUD #UDWBB #SCACwbb #d3h pic.twitter.com/5GQjVmQImN— UDallas Athletics (@UDallasSports) February 3, 2018
Dallas wraps up the four-game road trip on Saturday at Austin College around 6 p.m. after the men's game.