SHERMAN, Texas – The Austin College women's basketball team fell short of knocking off its second ranked opponent in a row, as No. 22-ranked UT-Dallas was able to hold off the 'Roos by a final score of 58-55 on Wednesday afternoon in Hughey Gym. The 'Roos are now 6-4 overall this season as they prepare to open up Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play this weekend.
Austin College struggled to get anything going offensively early on against a tenacious full court press from the Comets, as UTD hounded the 'Roos into five early turnovers to take a 16-9 lead after the first quarter. Caitlyn Collins scored four of the first five points in the game for Austin College as the 'Roos trailed 9-5 midway through the quarter, and the Comets pushed the margin to 16-7 before a Kendall Heitmeier basket trimmed it to a seven point game after one.
The UTD lead quickly grew to 13 in the second quarter as Zavier Landry scored to make it 22-9, and a bucket by Madison Steele made it 26-13 with 5:59 left before halftime. However, the 'Roos began chipping away at the margin with Bryce Frank scoring to kick off an 8-0 run that made it 26-21, and following three quick points from the Comets, Austin College scored the final five of the quarter with Collins banking in a jumper at the buzzer to make it a 29-26 game at the break.
Shannon Mathis hit a three for UTD early in the third as the Comets pushed the lead to 35-26, but Heitmeier scored four quick points to help Austin College cut it to a 41-38 game with 2:26 left in the quarter. The Comets would get two points back to take a five point lead into the fourth quarter, and the lead grew to 50-43 with under five minutes to play in the final quarter.
Olivia Bailey scored inside and Collins knocked down a three to bring the 'Roos back to within two at 50-48 with 3:42 left to play, but Austin College just could not quite get over the hump as UTD took a 58-52 lead with under 10 seconds to play before Kali Vittallo buried a three pointer at the buzzer to make it a 58-55 final score.
Collins finished with 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting while grabbing five rebounds and coming away with two steals to lead the 'Roos, while Vittallo added eight points and six assists. Frank chipped in eight points and six boards, and Bri Harvey added eight points and a team-best eight rebounds.
UT-Dallas used a dominant effort on the glass to hand the 'Roos the loss with a 56-44 rebounding edge, including 23 rebounds on the offensive glass. The Comets also forced the 'Roos into 22 turnovers in the game. Landry finished with 12 points, eight rebounds, and four steals while Micaela Gonzalez had 11 points and 10 rebounds for UTD.
The 'Roos are on the road this weekend as they take on the University of Dallas in the SCAC opener on Saturday.
Austin College athletic teams participate as a member of the NCAA Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.