When asked to comment about the University of Dallas women’s basketball team’s two road losses this weekend to Schreiner University and Trinity University, junior forward Michelle DeCoud said, “I don’t really have one.”
DeCoud’s frustration sums up how the team is feeling after losing in the two most extreme ways possible over the weekend. On Friday they lost by one point to Schreiner. On Saturday, they lost to Trinity by 40.
Senior forward Seana Stoia did not have much to say either.
“This past weekend did not end up how we wanted it to, but this week we will get back in the gym and work hard and get ready for this coming weekend,” Stoia said.
Friday’s game was simultaneously heartbreaking and frustrating for the Crusaders. They took on Schreiner, who had beaten them handily a week ago here in Irving. Schreiner took the Crusaders out of their game and forced them to try and score from the perimeter rather than in the paint, which Dallas was unable to do consistently, resulting in a 51-75 defeat.
As the Crusaders headed down to Kerrville, Texas, however, they came with a much better defensive mindset and were able to get the ball inside. Control of the game bounced back and forth between the Crusaders and the tough, athletic Mountaineers.
The game was nip and tuck throughout, but Dallas was able to pull away in the fourth quarter and opened up a 48-41 lead with 2:46 left. However, Schreiner proceeded to hit some big shots and finish the game on a 10-2 run, taking a 50-51 lead with six seconds left.
Dallas called timeout to set up a full court play to try and win the game. DeCoud, who dominated the game with 20 points and seven rebounds, got the ball past half court, dribbled down and pulled up for a floater around the three-point line at the buzzer. The shot hit the backboard, hit the rim and fell out. It was close, but close is not good enough.
“I thought we played hard, executed well for 33 minutes,” head coach Greta Grothe said. “However, when you don’t do those things for 40 minutes against a good team, you lose.”
The next day the Crusaders traveled to San Antonio to take on Trinity, the best team in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference and one of the top-ranked teams in the country. A week earlier, Trinity strolled into Irving and looked impressive at times. They forced 32 Dallas turnovers, but struggled to put away the pesky Crusaders even after a traumatic injury to freshman guard Celsi Caraway.
The rematch was a different story as Trinity jumped out to a 5-16 lead in the first quarter. Caraway knocked down a couple of three-pointers, however, and once again it looked like Dallas could hang around. They closed the gap to 17-22 by the end of the first quarter and at the 7:58 mark of the second quarter, Stoia knocked down a three-pointer to tie the game at 24. One possession later, Stoia made a layup to give the Crusaders their first and only lead of the game. That lead was short-lived, as Trinity proceeded to go on a 21-5 run, and by the end of the game the scoreboard showed Trinity 84, Dallas 44.
When asked if she had anything to say about the game, Grothe laughed and said no.
The lone bright spot on the stat sheet was Stoia, who dropped 21 points and went 9 of 11 from the floor, but when losing by 40 points, it’s hard to find solace in something like that.
The Crusaders are now 1-8 in conference play, but remain in a three-way tie for sixth with Colorado College and Centenary College. The three teams have all beaten each other, with Dallas beating Centenary and losing to Colorado. They will play both teams again, this time at home. The Crusaders now have a quick home stand beginning Friday, Feb. 3, when they take on Austin College at 5:30.