Emily Madden, Contributing Writer
This past Thursday night, the University of Dallas women’s basketball team had the opportunity to open its season with an exhibition game against the Australian Institute of Sport.
A normal season for Division III Athletics would have the team’s season opener the second weekend in November, but the exhibition game allowed the Lady Crusaders to play an “official” game with no effect on the overall record of the team.
The AIS team consisted of athletes 17 years of age and younger who attend the Institute for basketball. After the 1976 Olympics, the Australian government implemented training centers such as this to strengthen the nation’s athletics. Athletes who are members of the team attend a regular high school in the area for academics while playing basketball at this specialized center. Recruitment for these institutions occurs every two years. Ideally, two of the athletes on this team will be a part of the 2016 Australian Women’s Basketball Olympic Team. The Australians are touring the United States for two weeks, playing different schools in the Dallas and Los Angeles areas. The Lady Crusaders were defeated by the Australians 98-58.
Regular season for the Crusaders begins Friday, Nov. 16, in the Dallas Tip-Off Classic held at the Maher Athletic Center. The Crusaders open against Polytechnic Institute of New York University at 5 p.m. Friday and follow up with a 2 p.m. game on Saturday against East Texas Baptist University.