Esteban Bustillos
Managing Editor
Parthasarathy S.K.
Mercury Staff

Correction: Head coach Polly Thomason’s name was spelled incorrectly. The Mercury regrets this error.

Bouncing back from their loss against Trinity, the women’s basketball team (10-2, 6-1 ASC) took down East Texas Baptist (5-6, 1-5 ASC) 74-54 in a game that almost featured the program’s first ever triple double.

The Comets got off to a slow start, allowing ETBU to start the game off with a 6-0 run. UTD couldn’t manage to score until a bucket by senior guard Madi Hess went in four minutes into the contest. The team also struggled with turnovers and handling the ball in the first half, letting possession slip from its grasp and allowing easy buckets for the Lady Tigers.

Head coach Polly Thomason said the teams defense let them down in the first period.

“I think we were getting lost, we didn’t know what we wanted to do,” she said. “That’s what I was disappointed at because we didn’t do anything special. There were a couple of times we wanted to go double their post player, but we didn’t stay in that very long. It was our normal defense and I didn’t understand why we were getting confused.”

Going into the half, UTD trailed 31-27. They only shot 30.8 percent from the field, going 8 of 26 shooting.

Coming back in the second half, the Comets were able to finally find their groove offensively, but couldn’t seem to find a way to get a steady lead on the Tigers. That all changed midway through the period when the Comets went on an 18-1 run that the Lady Tigers couldn’t get out of.

Hess led the Comets on the night, going 6 of 10 for a season high 23 points, 9 of which came from beyond the three-point line. She also picked up a career best 11 rebounds and a career high 9 assists. With one more assist, Hess would have picked up the first triple-double in program history.

She said her success on the offensive side of the ball stemmed from defensive play.

“When you’re playing hard defense, your offense is going to come,” she said. “I’m looking to go out there and score every time I’m open. I’ve always been a point guard, trying to get an open person the ball. When I have open looks I’m going to take them, but when I see someone else open, I’m going to pass it to them. I believe anyone on our team can have one of those nights.”

She said the team felt like they were finally back to the way they were used to playing during their run in the second half.

Thomason said she thought this was Hess’ best game overall for the season.

“Sometimes, she shoots too much, sometimes she passes too much,” Thomason said. “I thought today was a perfect combination of those.”

Senior guards Amber Brown and Christina Brosnahan also stood out for the Comets, picking up 14 and 8 points, respectively.

The Comets next game is against LeTourneau on Jan. 10. at 1 p.m.