Crusaders Drop Another in Conference

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An initially promising season for the University of Dallas women’s basketball team has taken a turn for the worse since conference play began, as the Crusaders lost again Friday night to the visiting Schreiner University Mountaineers by a score of 51-75 to drop to 9-8 overall, but a more concerning 1-5 in conference play.

“Overall we didn’t play our best game,” said head coach Greta Grothe.

Schreiner forced the Crusaders to play left-handed; Dallas is typically a dominant team in the post due to forwards Seana Stoia and Michelle DeCoud, but the Crusaders couldn’t even get inside the paint for almost the entire game, especially in the first half. The team continually settled for jump shots, and that led to an abysmal 34.7% shooting percentage for the game, compared to Schreiner’s 50.9%.

“They took us out of our game and once that happened I think we kind of shut down,” Grothe said.

DeCoud finished with a team-high 16 points, but they came on far too many jump shots and not nearly enough shots inside the paint. The Crusaders were 7 for 20 from beyond the arc–not a terrible percentage–but most of those shots came after passing the ball around the perimeter rather than driving inside and then kicking out for a better look.

The team also had 23 turnovers in the game and went 10 for 21 from the free throw line, despite the fact that they’re shooting 67% from the line as a team. The lone bright spot offensively was senior Caitlyn Worry, a three-point specialist who went 4 for 5 from beyond the arc. However, it wasn’t nearly enough, as no one else hit more than one three in a game where they needed to hit more.

The concerning part for Grothe was at the other end of the floor. Schreiner was able to shoot over 50% from the floor while the Crusaders have held teams to 36% shooting this year. If it weren’t for a terrible second quarter from the Mountaineers in which they shot just 3 of 15 from the floor and scored only seven points, those numbers could have been even worse. Especially in the second half, Schreiner just wore them down, scoring 21 points in the 3rd quarter and 28 in the 4th, while going 11 for 12 from the floor in the final quarter.

“Our strength is on the defensive end and we didn’t play well defensively,” Grothe said.

It doesn’t get any easier for the Crusaders, as Sunday they welcome in the Trinity Tigers, ranked 14th in the country. The Tigers are 15-1 for the season. Dallas is looking forward to the challenge, however.

“On a positive note we have #14 in the country coming in so we’re just going to go out and have some fun,” Grothe said.

Despite the 1-5 conference record, there are two other teams in the league (Centenary and Colorado) with the same record, so Dallas is still right in the thick of the race for the conference tournament. The top six teams in the eight-team league are invited to the tournament.

Dallas will take on Trinity at the Maher Center at 12:00 on Sunday, January 22.

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