In a disappointing series of events, the University of Dallas women’s basketball team lost two road games over the weekend. The first game, against Southwestern University, was a tight contest with a final score of 57-54. The Crusaders lost the second game against Texas Lutheran University by a score of 92-75. The Crusaders’ three game skid has dropped the team to fifth place in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) standings.
During their Friday game at SU, the UD women raced out to a 6-0 lead. Senior Brooke Hagemann scored the game’s first five points, while a free throw from senior Marleyna Bustamante put the Crusaders up by six. What appeared to be an effortless play for Bustamante was actually a monumental shot, as the free throw was her 1000th point in her four-year career as a Crusader. However, the SU Pirates battled back from there, and the game remained close throughout the half as neither team led by more than four points at a given time. The Crusaders went into the locker room trailing by one point, 26-25.
The Pirates scored 11 points in the first four minutes of the second period to take a 37-30 lead. However, Bustamante scored seven points in the next three minutes of action to bring the navy and white within two points, 39-37. The Crusaders regained the lead and took a 46-41 lead, thanks to a crucial three-pointer by freshman Jessica Foster. From that point on, though, the Pirates went on a 10-0 scoring run, claiming a lead of 51-46. Although the Crusaders would tie the game at 51 points, the SU women took a 57-54 lead with 28 seconds left. The navy and white could not convert on two shots in the closing seconds of the game and fell to the Pirates. Although Bustamante’s historic night ended in defeat, she led the team in scoring with 19 points. She also added two assists, three steals and a block.
The next day, the UD women faced the Bulldogs of TLU. Once again, the Crusaders claimed the initial momentum, claiming a 10-4 lead within the opening three minutes of the game. UD kept the lead until nine minutes were left in the half, when a Bulldogs layup made the score 21-20 in TLU’s favor. UD battled back to retake the lead, but would ultimately go into halftime trailing 42-39.
The Bulldogs built their lead to nine points in the opening minutes of the second half before an 8-0 scoring run brought the Crusaders within one point, 56-55. But the TLU women responded soon after that with a 12-2 run of their own to claim a lead of 73-63.
The Crusaders would cut the TLU lead to seven points, but the Bulldogs controlled the last five minutes of play to post a victory of 92-75. Bustamante once again led the Crusaders in scoring with 21 points in the game, while sophomore Seana Stoia contributed a strong performance with a season-high 14 points.
Sophomore Sammi Tso called Bustamante’s accomplishment “inspirational” and said that the feat “gives us motivation to work harder to be like her.” Tso also commented on what cost the team the most in the two games.
“We played very poorly in rebounds and turnovers,” she said. “If we limited those we would have given ourselves a better chance to win.”