Women look to finish strong

The Lady Comets hadn’t played in an overtime game all season.

After Feb. 12, they wish they could make the same claim.

In their first extra period of the season, the women were outscored 17-9 by Mississippi College to lose 68-60.

Four Comets, led by sophomore center Cassi Little, scored in double figures, but it was not enough to overcome a 27-point performance by Mississippi College’s Lacey Palomarez

Prior to the defeat at home, UTD had won three of four and is looking to finish strong.

The Lady Comets (6-14, 4-6) coupled a 84-73 victory over LeTourneau Jan. 29 with a 62-56 win over East Texas Baptist two days later in only their second multi-game win streak of the season.

LeTourneau (4-16, 1-8) got its revenge Feb. 5 when a cold-shooting second half doomed the Comets in a 68-59 loss. East Texas Baptist (4-16, 1-8) could not exact similar revenge Feb. 7, instead falling to UTD 56-44.

“We’re learning to win,” Head Coach Rachelle Leonard said. “We opened conference play with the two best teams. In a lot of games we led, but now we’re learning to finish it off. We’re finally finding answers now.”

These answers for UTD are coming in the forms of junior guard Crystal Pope and sophomore guard Jennifer Longoria, who are averaging 14.0 and 10.8 points respectively

“Jen Langoria has taken a big step in leading the team, and Crystal Pope is scoring for us,” Leonard said.

Little paced the Comets in the second pasting of ETBU with 13 points before fouling out.

In the streak-breaking loss to LeTourneau, Pope provided the biggest highlight, netting eight three-pointers en route to a season high of 32 points.

Kia Jones, a sophomore behavior and brain sciences major, led the scoring attack Jan. 24 against ETBU scoring 20 points in 33 minutes of action. Jones and Pope scored a dozen each in the Comets’ defeat of LeTourneau.

Leonard attributes the team’s recent success to dedication and favorable opponents.

“Our goal has always been to fight,” Leonard said. “You can’t take away from these kids that they play hard for you.

“We’ve played some teams we thought we were better than,” Leonard added.

Leonard references the last four games as an indication of the improvement the team has made since last season and even earlier this year.

She said the Comets are still in the hunt to finish in the upper level of the East Division and hopes to have a winning conference record.

“There’s not a team left that we couldn’t upset,” Leonard said. “We’re not giving up. We’re fighting for respect.”

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