Spirited Effort Not Enough as Crusaders Drop Fifth Straight

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It seems like the same story every time for the University of Dallas women’s basketball team, who lost their fifth game in a row Friday night against Austin College. One thing that cannot be faulted, however, is the Crusaders’ effort.

The team started the game off well against a very good Austin College team who improved to 15-6 overall on the season and 7-3 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) play.

Thanks a couple of three pointers from senior guard Caitlyn Worry, the Crusaders jumped out to a 10-1 lead about halfway through the first quarter. The team was flying around on defense, and post players Michelle DeCoud and Seana Stoia were making their presence known in the paint despite Austin’s size.

Everything seemed to be going Dallas’s way as they held a 16-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. When Austin started to make a run in the second, the Crusaders didn’t panic and kept fighting, holding a 26-25 halftime lead.

Things kept going back and forth throughout the third quarter, but after DeCoud hit a jump shot with 35 seconds left in the quarter to give them a 34-33 lead, things started to unravel a bit.

Austin’s Ann Savage hit a three-pointer with five seconds left in the quarter, spurring a 17-2 run that the Crusaders just couldn’t fight back from, and Austin held on to win 63-51.

“It’s the same thing every game,” said head coach Greta Grothe. “We play well for 30 to 35 minutes a game and then we have a lapse for five minutes and that’s where teams are beating us.”

The Crusaders finished with three scorers in double digits, but their strength is on the defensive end, and at times they struggle to get things going offensively. That’s usually where the bad runs start.

“We go a couple minutes without scoring and it hurts our rhythm and mental psyche and you can’t do that against good teams,” Grothe said.

The Crusaders fell to 1-9 in conference play, and dropped behind Centenary College as they topped Colorado College last night. The top six teams make the tournament, and heading into last night, Dallas was tied with Centenary and Colorado for that sixth spot, as those three teams have only won games against each other.

The Crusaders are now tied with Colorado at the bottom, but will take on Centenary on Sunday at 12. Needless to say, this is a season-defining game, as wins over Centenary and Colorado on February 18 will likely punch the Crusader’s ticket to the conference tournament.

“We need people to step up and just do our job,” Grothe said.

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