After coming off a three-game road trip the women’s basketball team took down Austin College 79-62 to clinch a victory in it’s only home game of December.
During the away game stretch, the Comets won the Kean Classic in New Jersey and broke into the top 25, but finished the trip with a 46-75 loss to the University of Chicago on Nov. 24. Head coach Polly Thomason said the team was excited to get back on the court and play to its capabilities.
“I’m proud of the way we adjusted after Tuesday coming into today,” she said. “I thought we had great energy and that’s what we’ve got to bring and I really liked that about us today.”s
Starting the game, the Comets got off to an early lead, going on a 10-point run early in the first quarter. UTD couldn’t capitalize on the early success, however, and the the quarter ended with UTD only leading by 6 points.
The Comets picked up their performance in the second quarter, however, outscoring the Lady Roos 18 to 5. Defensively, UTD was able to suffocate Austin College with a full-court press that led to 9 turnovers.
Thomason said forcing turnovers like this is something the team will rely on this year.
“I thought we played the first half really well,” she said. “We were making them pass long and either we were picking off those longs passes or they were throwing them out of bounds and it was really playing into what our strengths are.”
In the second half, UTD didn’t relent, starting off the third quarter with 9 straight points to extend the lead by 28 points, the largest margin of the night. The Lady Roos improved offensively, shooting 54.2 percent from the field after shooting a dismal 33.3 percent in the first half, but that wasn’t enough to get them caught up with the Comets. Although UTD was outscored 44-42 in the second half, they managed to never give up their lead.
UTD was lead by junior forward Micaela Gonzalez, who picked up 12 points and 8 rebounds. She said her success came from her teammates.
“We really executed in our offense and it made my job easy,” she said.
Also leading the Comets were junior forward Madison Steele, who had 10 points and freshman guard Alisa Greene, who finished with 11 points.
Throughout the game, the Comets were able to rotate a large chunk of the bench on and off the court, finishing the game with every person on the 16-person roster seeing playing time, something that Thomason saw as a factor in the victory.
“We went 16 today when they can’t go as deep,” she said. “Hopefully that fourth quarter we’ll … get them shooting some long shots with tired legs cause they’ve had to play fast all game, maybe get them to miss some key free throws. That’s our goal.”
The Comets only have 10 home games this year and won’t play again in the Activity Center until Jan. 2. Gonzalez said the win against Austin College will give the Comets confidence as they head out on another road trip.
“I think it’ll just propel us,” she said.