Friday, Feb. 21 and Saturday, Feb. 22 marked the final two games for the University of Dallas women’s basketball team for the 2019-2020 season. Despite dropping the final two games against the Celts from the University of St. Thomas and the Ladies of Centenary College, the women look to bring back five of their eight players and continue to build on the talent in their program.
After a shattered backboard in the men’s warm-up forced Friday’s match against the University of St. Thomas to be delayed, the women finally tipped off at 9 p.m. at Houston Baptist University. Despite the delay, freshman guard Beyonce Perry posted a career night, dropping 24 points to go along with four rebounds and two assists. Junior forward Jules Oliveti also posted double figures in the scoring column Friday night, posting 13 points and six rebounds.
Despite the great performances, St. Thomas’ defense proved to be too much for the Crusaders, who were held to just over 32% shooting on the night. The Celts forced 22 turnovers and grabbed 47 rebounds, leading to 25 points being scored off turnovers, boosting the Celts’ 44% shooting from the field. St. Thomas’ bench also played a key role in their victory, bringing in 37 of the team’s 79 points. The Celts dominated the first three quarters, going up 59-29 through three quarters. This gave them the boost they needed, winning by a final score of 79-50.
Due to the unusual circumstances of the previous night, Saturday’s season finale against the Ladies of Centenary College was pushed back an hour to 7 p.m.. Perry followed up Friday’s incredible performance by putting up 17 points and five rebounds, shooting 41% from the floor. UD’s Madi Horne, who had to leave the previous game against St. Thomas after nearly breaking her nose, came back strong on Saturday with 17 points of her own, shooting 44% from the field and going 2-3 from three-point range. Horne also grabbed four rebounds after coming off the bench.
However, Centenary was not to be denied on their senior night, with two of their seniors, guard Essa Badon and forward Deunya Small, combining for 24 points. The Ladies quickly jumped out to a 10-0 lead halfway through the first quarter and would never trail throughout the entire game. Junior forward Bre Frierson posted a near season-high 21 points, helping the Ladies push past the Crusaders by a final score of 73-51.
The Crusaders finished their season with an overall record of 3-22 and 1-16 in conference, with their sole conference win coming against Centenary at the end of December 2019. Following her great performance on Saturday, freshman Madi Horne had nothing but praise for her team for fighting throughout the season.
“The fight and grit my team and I possessed throughout the season… says a lot about our team’s character,”
Sophomore guard Alexis Vera, who was injured for most of the season, also weighed in on the team’s determination. “I’m so proud of my team staying strong. It was a tough season, but we stayed together and became a family. I’m so proud of my girls for staying mentally tough and pushing through.”
Moving into the off-season, the girls look to bring back five of their eight players.
Horne knows that despite the season’s completion, the work only continues. “Next season we’re going to do a better job capitalizing. Our team goals will include better communication and taking care of the ball. I’m excited to see what next season brings us and even during this off-season because that’s where the winning culture starts.”
Vera was also very optimistic about the team going forward, citing the women’s determination and love for the game.
“We just need to make sure we’re still getting in the gym and practicing the game we love.”