After dropping their final eight games last season and opening up the 2016-17 campaign with another loss, the University of Dallas women’s basketball team was a little frustrated and anxious. However, they’ve bounced back to win their first two home games, including Tuesday (Nov. 22) night’s against Randall University by a score of 70-62.
The Crusaders were once again led by their two post players, senior Seana Stoia, who recorded a game-high 21 points, and junior Michelle DeCoud, who notched her tenth career double-double with 17 points and 12 boards.
The Crusaders also got some much-needed energy off the bench, particularly from junior forward Helen Onyenso. Although she only scored four points, Onyenso provided a spark, flying around to pile up seven rebounds, four offensive, along with three steals.
Dallas trailed by as many as ten late in the first half, and six at the break with the scoreboard showing 36-42. The Crusaders were having trouble finding shooters in their transition defense, as Randall was 6-11 from the three-point line in the first half.
However, the Crusaders were able to really tighten up their defense in the second half, holding Randall to 13-1 from beyond the arc in the second half and just 20 points for the half, compared to 42 in the first.
While UD cleaned up the defensive end, it was Stoia especially who led the way offensively, scoring 10 of her 21 points in the third quarter, including two three-point field goals.
“I was starting to feel good and confident in what we are doing as a team,” Stoia said after the game.
It was still a tight one in the fourth quarter after Randall’s Caitlin White made the team’s lone three pointer of the second half to give them a 54-56 lead with 6:50 left in the game. It would be Randall’s final lead, as from there UD would go on a 13-2 run to seal the game.
After senior guard Holly Tonry knocked down a jumper to tie the game, she got a steal on the defensive end before Onyenso hit another jump shot to put the Crusaders up by two.
Senior guard Caitlyn Worry and freshman guard Celsi Caraway proceeded to knock down threes around two Randall free throws to give Dallas a 64-58 lead with 3:30 left. A DeCoud layup and Tonry free throw finished the run with 1:26 to go, sealing the game once and for all.
“The team is starting to come together and we are starting to get in a rhythm,” Stoia said.
The Lady Crusaders followed their second home victory with back-to-back wins on the road Nov. 26-7 against Rust College (53-49) and Westminster College (63-50) in the Rhodes College Classic.