The University of Dallas women’s basketball team welcomed Trinity University to the Maher Center on Sunday, Jan. 22. However, there was a scary moment late in the third quarter when freshman Celsi Caraway was hit in the neck and lost all feeling in the left side of her body. The fire department came and took Caraway away on a stretcher. Grothe said that Caraway is doing fine, and that the team hopes to get her back soon.
After dropping their Friday game 51-75 against Schreiner University and falling to a disappointing 1-5 in conference play, the Crusaders had to turn around quickly for another challenging match-up.
It is always a difficult task when the Crusaders take on conference foe Trinity University. The Tigers are perennially at the top of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) and are typically one of the best teams in all of Division III women’s basketball. Nevertheless, Dallas did not back away in their game against the Tigers.
The Tigers jumped out to a 13-21 lead at the end of the first quarter, largely due to turnovers by the Crusaders. Trinity had a 3/4 court press that was difficult for Dallas to navigate. The Tigers practically waited at half court with three girls to pounce with a hard trap just as Dallas brought the ball across the line, using their length and athleticism to create turnovers.
“With the turnovers it was hard to win but I thought once we got into the half court we could score,” head coach Greta Grothe said.
Grothe was right. Looking through the statistics, they are nearly identical. Trinity shot 43 percent from the field compared to Dallas’ 40 percent, the Crusaders shot 2 percent from beyond the arc while Trinity shot 31 percent, and Dallas shot 83 percent from the free throw line compared to Trinity’s 73 percent. The Crusaders even outrebounded the Tigers by 12. The difference, however, were the abhorrent 32 turnovers from the Crusaders that led to 31 of Trinity’s 76 points.
“We watched film on [the press], we practiced it, but it’s not the same thing until you see it in real life,” Grothe said. “We finally calmed down and took care of the ball a little more [as the game went on].”
Twenty-one of the 32 turnovers came in the first half, so the second half was certainly an improvement.
It was also difficult for the team to play again after the Caraway’s scare, but they finished out the fourth quarter. Unfortunately no ground was made up, and Trinity won the game 61-76. Caraway’s injury was unfortunate for the team, as she led the Crusaders with 15 points, including three three-point field goals.
After going 0-2 this weekend, Dallas will turn around and play the same two teams again next weekend. The Crusaders will play against Schreiner University on Friday, Jan. 27 and Trinityon Saturday, Jan. 28. The team hopes to get senior guard Sammi Tso back from a knee injury she sustained two weeks ago against Austin College.
“Hopefully we can give [Trinity] a game next weekend,” Grothe said. “But first things first, and that’s Schreiner.”