By Brian Hula
After suffering through a three-game losing streak, the University of Dallas women’s basketball squad won all three of its games this week. Another notable accomplishment was senior Brooke Hagemann’s surpassing of the 1,000-point mark on Friday night, just one week after classmate Marleyna Bustamante accomplished the same feat. The Crusaders made a short road trip on Tuesday to defeat Dallas Christian College by a score of 81-67, and they won both games this past weekend at home 91-50 against Centenary College of Louisiana and 85-67 versus Colorado College.
In the game against DCC, UD jumped out to a 17-4 lead, thanks to a balanced offensive spurt in which five different players scored. Although the DCC women cut UD’s lead to six points at 23-17, the navy and white responded with a 10-0 scoring run to take a commanding lead at 33-17. DCC never got within 10 points in the rest of the half, and UD went into the locker room leading 39-27.
The UD women scored the first nine points of the second half to take a commanding 21-point lead, 48-27. However, the DCC players slowly chipped away at the UD lead until they drew within single digits, 75-66, with 2:45 left in the game. From that point on, the navy and white scored six points to clinch the win, claiming victory by a score of 81-67. The Crusaders had five players score in double figures, with sophomore Lindsey Gendron coming off the bench to lead the team in scoring with 13 points.
On Friday night, the Crusaders quickly fell behind 5-0 to Centenary. However, the UD women and their opponents would knot the game at seven points apiece, and never trailed from that point forward as they built a 16-point lead, 27-11. UD never allowed the Centenary women to trim the lead to single digits and went into halftime leading 47-33.
Thanks to a strong offensive performance by Hagemann and sophomore Sammi Tso, the Crusaders began the second half on a 20-6 run to take a commanding lead at 67-39. Hagemann played for most of the second half and scored a layup with about two minutes left in the game to accomplish the historic feat of reaching 1,000 points in her career. She notched a double-double on the night with 20 points and ten rebounds as the Crusaders won 91-50.
Hagemann said that it was an exciting accomplishment to break the 1,000-point mark.
“I’m very proud of myself, and [reaching 1,000 points] solidifies that hard work pays off!” she said. She added that she was honored to reach that milestone so close to Bustamante. “[We have] been together for all four years, sticking together through the rough times and the great times,” she said.
The first four minutes of the Crusaders’ game on Saturday against Colorado were a hard-fought battle: UD was down 8-7 with 16:00 left in the half. However, a jump shot by Bustamante sparked a 20-2 scoring run during which eight Crusader players scored. Just as in Friday’s game, the Crusaders put on a strong showing directly after halftime, going on a 15-4 run to take a 60-34 lead. The Colorado women were never able to make the game competitive from that point on, and UD claimed another sizable victory, this time with a score of 85-67.
The Crusader women’s basketball squad was noticeably deeper than their opponent’s teams: UD habitually substituted four or five players in at a time. Solid shooting from beyond the arc also played a key role in earning the three victories. Freshman Michelle DeCoud credited the Crusaders’ offensive success to their patience on offense.
“[We were] letting the play really develop and using more of the shot clock,” she said. “[We were] being patient and not just settling for a quick shot every possession is a good sign.”
Tso said she felt that the team’s defense played an important part in the recent wins.
“Our defense has really made our offense effective,” she said. “The stops we get on defense give us energy for our offense.”