The Austin College women's basketball team found itself in an 11 point hole at halftime but outscored the University of Dallas 36-21 after the break to come away with a 58-54 victory on Saturday night, giving the 'Roos their third straight win and bring their record to 13-10 overall and 8-5 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play.
The 'Roos found themselves facing an 8-2 deficit early, and the lead grew to 13-6 with under 14 minutes in the opening half as Austin College struggled to get any offense going. Kendall Heitmeier scored four in a row and Briana Harvey knocked down a pair of free throws to make it 20-17 with 7:48 left, but Dallas responded with a quick 7-2 spurt to push the lead back to five with 2:47 left in the half.
Christina Kime drilled a three to cut it to a 27-22 game but the Crusaders would tally the final six points of the half to head into the break leading 33-22. Austin College made just six first half field goals while turning the ball over 12 times to put themselves in the big hole at the midway point.
A Christy Allen basket early in the second half pushed the Dallas lead to 38-26, but a pair of baskets by Erin Riley and another three from Kime helped the 'Roos cut it to a 42-38 game with 10:33 remaining. Dallas extended the lead back to 46-39 before Jenna Longo knocked down a three to kick start a 12-2 run capped off by back to back buckets from Brittany Stepanski to give Austin College a 51-48 lead with 4:17 left.
The Crusaders pulled to within one at 53-52 on a pair of free throws from Allen with 1:01 left, but the 'Roos got a three point play from Brooke Melton to open things up and held on for the four point victory.
Longo hit 3-of-3 from long range and Stepanski went 5-of-7 from the field as both players scored 12 to lead Austin College, with Stepanski adding seven rebounds. Kime finished with nine points and four assists and Melton grabbed five rebounds, handed out five assists, and came away with three steals in the win.
Marleyna Bustamante led all scorers with 18 points and added seven rebounds and three assists for Dallas, and Allen finished with 11 points and nine boards in the loss.
Austin College wraps up the regular season next Friday when they host Centenary College at 8:00 p.m. for Senior Night before moving on to the SCAC Tournament the following weekend.
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 residential 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.