IRVING, Texas – The University of Dallas women's basketball team scored the last six points in 2:53 minutes to edge Centenary College on Friday evening in a 60-55 final at the Maher Center.
In a game with eight ties and seven lead changes, each side had used major runs in the duration of play to send this down to the wire. Centenary's Jasmine Morris completed an old fashioned three-point play to give her a team-high 16 points and the lead 55-54.
UD countered with its leading scorer Michelle DeCoud (Monument, Colo.) for a go-ahead layup. The senior was involved on Dallas' last three scoring plays as she found Madilyne Borjon (San Antonio, Texas) for an assist. That layup for the freshman helped her eclipse 10 points this season, and eventually aided the Crusaders to their first Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) play.
Dallas won for the second time in three days to improve to 7-8, while the Ladies moved to 3-11. Both teams are 1-3 in conference.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The first quarter was even as the teams tallied 12 points. It was low-scoring through the first eight minutes, as Dallas led 7-6. There were a combined 11 points in the final 1:36 minutes. Also both teams shared the same number of turnovers that frame with eight apiece.
In the next period, the Crusaders fell behind as many as seven (22-15) near the midway point, but scored the next five in a row thanks to a three-pointer by Celsi Caraway (Arlington, Texas) and two free throws by Panda Green (Farmersville, Texas). UD carried the momentum after Ashley Strawder for the Ladies answered with a jumper. DeCoud's shot and two free throws by Borjon at 2:49, knotted the game a fourth time. The four points by the duo started 10-2 run to lift Dallas to a 30-26 edge at intermission. Green also had her lone trey in that span that made it 29-24.
Caraway then found the touch from behind the three-point arc with a pair less than two minutes apart in UD's strong start to the third. The two treys were part of an eight-point streak to push the score to a 12-point margin.
Centenary struck for its first points 3:10 minutes into the frame on a free throw by Morris. She had the team's first five points, before Savanah Doty connected from deep to make it 38-34. After another free throw, Doty buried a game-tying trifecta at 4:09. Centenary's unanswered run stretched to 14, before Vanessa Diaz (San Antonio, Texas) was good for a free throw. She put down another shot at the line to tie the game at 40, and then her classmate Borjon notched a three to put the team up through the last buzzer of that quarter.
Up two going into the last 10 minutes, the Crusaders again started strong with the first six points. Doty made a three-pointer a minute and a half in, as the Ladies fought to stay close. After the lead stretched back out, the Ladies got back-to-back jumpers from Morris and Ethany Cosby to make it 52-49.
Caraway's layup with four minutes was answered by five straight Centenary points make it a 54-all game. Morris had been fouled on the game-tying layup, and hit the ensuing free throw for the last point the Ladies had of the game.
Trailing by one, Dallas countered out of a timeout with DeCoud being fed inside on a pass by Caraway seconds later. The Crusaders held their opponent scoreless the remainder of the game, as Borjon and DeCoud stretched the lead out. Caraway again setup DeCoud on a jumper with 1:04 to play.
The Ladies had a missed jumper and then after getting the ball back would miss a three. UD came up empty on a chance to add points, but Centenary's last three-point attempt came short and Caraway secured the final board to dribble the clock out.
DeCoud posted 19 points and 14 rebounds for game-highs in each. It was also her eighth double-double on the campaign. She also recorded four steals, three assists, and two blocks.
Caraway and Borjon reached double figures in points with 12 and 10, respectively. Caraway added seven boards and dished five dimes. Helen Onyenso (Oak Park, Ill.) grabbed eight rebounds for second on the team.
Dallas won the battle on the glass 46-40, but both teams took advantage of second chance points with 11 apiece. The Crusaders committed 23 turnovers compared to Centenary's 17. The road team was whistled for 26 fouls compared to 17 by Dallas. Both teams did attempt at least 23 free throws, with Centenary only having one extra. The Crusaders outshot the Ladies 35.7 percent to 26.6 percent. Centenary also struggled from three with 4-of-26 shooting.
Centenary was led by Morris and Doty with 16 and 14 in the scoring column. Deunya Small pulled down eight rebounds to go with six points.
Dallas has won eight-of-nine games against the Ladies dating back to 2012-13.
Onyenso eclipsed 100 rebounds for the third straight season, and also surpassed 50 by one on the offensive boards.
The 60 points for the Crusaders match a season-high in conference play in back-to-back outings.
Dallas continues conference play with Austin College on Sunday. First tip is around 2 p.m. after the men's basketball matchup.