The Austin College women's basketball team got out to a big lead behind the hot shooting of Jacqui Nickell but needed to hold off a late rally by the University of Texas-Dallas on Wednesday night, topping the Comets 55-52 to improve to 3-2 overall this season.
Austin College fell in a 10-3 hole early on before back to back treys from Nickell made it a 10-9 game with 12:54 left in the opening half, and another three from Nickell and baskets from Erin Riley and Shayna Clardy gave the 'Roos their first lead of the game at 18-16 with 5:26 on the clock. Nickell buried her fourth three of the opening half to extend the lead to five, but the Comets would chip away and make it a 24-23 Austin College lead at the break.
The 'Roos maintained their slim lead early in the second half before Nickell knocked down her fifth and sixth threes of the game to push it to a 38-27 game with 12:34 to play, and the lead grew to 47-31 following a bucket by Brooke Melton and a three from Clardy with just over eight minutes remaining.
The Comets would come surging back thanks to a 13-2 run that made it a 49-44 game with 4:49 remaining, and a three point play by Amber Brown would cut it to a 51-49 margin with under two minutes left. Four free throws from Christina Kime pushed it to a 55-49 game with 36 seconds left, and the 'Roos would manage to hold off the Comets and secure the three point victory.
Nickell hit 6-of-8 threes on her way to 18 points and Melton finished with 10 points, six boards and four steals as Austin College overcame 26 turnovers to earn the victory.
Jo'Anna Davis scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Comets and Kellie Loukanis added 10 in the loss as UTD shot just 32.8% from the field in the game.
Austin College opens up Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play this weekend when they host Southwestern on Friday and Trinity on Saturday.
Austin College athletic teams participate as a member of the NCAA Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
About Austin College
Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the college is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope's influential book Colleges that Change Lives.