Comets take home their last ever ASC title in buzzerbeater

Photo Courtesy of UTD Athletics

Men’s basketball finished the season with a win, the women’s team with a loss. Both teams will take a break before transitioning to DII

After consecutive wins against Concordia Texas and LeTourneau and a loss against East Texas Baptist, the men’s team qualified for the American Southwestern Conference championship and won both its games against LeTourneau and Mary Hardin-Baylor, securing the championship title for the Comets.

The women’s team bounced back from a loss against HSU by notching back-to-back wins against UMHB and Concordia, jumping to third place in the ASC where they would remain.

The men’s team’s late comeback attempt came up short against UMHB on Feb. 8, losing 99-87. The Comets put up an efficient game against Concordia on Feb. 10, recording 58% shooting and a season-high 54% from the three-point range, resulting in a 95-79 victory. Senior guard Donovan Souter led the Comets in points in both games. Sophomore center Austin Page exceeded 15 points in both games to go along with 14 total rebounds. Junior guard Nick Donnelly scored 22 points against Concordia, including a season-best five three-pointers from six attempts. The Comets continued their hot run-on offense, extending their 75-plus point game streak to seven.

“We tried to work inside out and get it to our big men and then find shooters,” Donnelly said. “We shot the ball good from the 3-point line and inside.”

The women’s team played a close game early against UMHB before pulling away and eventually winning 68-60. The Comets played a blowout victory against Concordia to win 65-49. Against UMHB, junior guard Trystan Clark paced the Comets with 17 points. Junior guard Cierra Trigg recorded 16 points and a career-high three steals. Against Concordia, sophomore guard Amanda Crowninshield came off the bench to net a career-high and team-leading 21 points, along with four rebounds, four assists and four steals. Senior forward Alex Bowman contributed 13 points. UTD held UMHB and Concordia to under 30% shooting, a testament to their defensive prowess. They also forced over 20 turnovers in both games.

“A big part of our team identity has always been defense,” Crowninshield said. “We might miss some shots, but [our opponent isn’t] gonna score, and if [they] can’t score, then [they] can’t win against us.”

For the men’s team, free throws continue to be an essential component of their offensive arsenal; they went 23-34 against Concordia, their fifth game attempting at least 25 in the past eight games.

Donnelly said that the victory against Concordia helped the team regain their momentum after the loss against UMHB.

“We talked after that [UMHB] game and met with each other,” Donnelly said. “We needed to

get a win to try to secure the first place seed and that led to our motivation to come out there strong, play with energy and to get a win.”

Crowninshield said that despite their impressive victories, the Comets need to stay focused and take it one game at a time.

“When teams come off of a huge win, they can tend to get kind of lax about things,” Crowninshield said. “Even though we’re still riding that wave we still have to look forward, we still got games coming up.”

After a win against LeTourneau on Feb. 23 and another win against Mary Hardin-Baylor on Feb. 25, the men’s team now holds the title of ASC co-champions along with Hardin-Simmons.

The women’s team had back-to-back wins, defeating LeTourneau 77-45 and ETBU 67-63 to finish as the third seed in the ASC. However, their season came to an end with a loss in the quarterfinals to Ozarks 64-60 on Feb. 20.

“It’s gotta be now or never,” Crowninshield said. “We’re just ready to get back to back rings baby.”

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