Crusaders Fall to Centenary College to Begin Conference Play

Crusaders competed in back-and-forth game until big 4th quarter lifted Centenary on Tuesday.
Crusaders competed in back-and-forth game until big 4th quarter lifted Centenary on Tuesday.

SHREVEPORT, La. – The University of Dallas women's basketball team fell in its first Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) contest of the season to Centenary College 76-55. The Crusaders (0-8, 0-1 SCAC) were only down five points heading into the final period, but a 24-8 Ladies rout in the fourth quarter put an end to any chance for Dallas. The Ladies (3-6, 1-0 SCAC) drilled five of its seven three-pointers in the second half. Darelzray Bellard made all four of her three-pointers in the third period to keep a lead over UD. Centenary went 10-15 (66.7 percent) in the fourth quarter and grabbed 14 rebounds to pull away with the win.

Bad shooting for the Ladies helped Dallas open up a 9-2 lead in the first period. Momentum shifted to the CC side, when they went on a 9-2 run to close out the frame. Vanessa Diaz (San Antonio, Texas) led the Crusaders with six points in the opening period, including two free throws with no time left on the clock.

Down 12-11 the Crusaders eventually tied up the ballgame at 22 with six minutes remaining in the second period. After Alexis Vera (San Antonio, Texas) made a layup, the Ladies went on a 6-0 run to regain the lead. CC took a three point lead into halftime. Jules Oliveti (Southlake, Texas) led the Crusaders in that quarter with six points.

Diaz opened up the third quarter with a layup, followed by a big trey by Breeona Cannon (Fort Worth, Texas) to put the Crusaders back on top. With 4:37 remaining in the third, Faith Starnes (Bryan, Texas) buried two free-throws to help Dallas find one of its biggest leads on the afternoon. Bellard then went on a tear hitting four three-pointers in a span of two minutes to help the Ladies create a marginal lead. Cannon went for eight points in that frame, along with five points by both Starnes and Diaz to head into the final period only down by five. Dallas was held to just eight points in the final period, while the Ladies shot 10-15 (66.7 percent) from the field to grab the win.

Four different Ladies had double-digit points. Bellard had 18 points, going 4-7 behind the arc. Bre Frierson contributed 14 points and 11 boards, while Priya Ponia and Deunya Small both added 13 points. Centenary won the rebound battle 49-28. The Ladies also took advantage of 12 UD turnovers as they scored 19 points off of turnovers.

Diaz finished with her third double-double of the season as she led Dallas in points (15) and rebounds (10). Starnes followed her teammate with 11 points with all six free throws going in, while Cannon and Oliveti both added eight points.


Dallas will be back home tomorrow for another conference test as they host Austin College. Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m.