University of Dallas Men’s and Women’s Basketball opened their respective seasons with mixed results and opportunities for improvement. With the first week of games complete, the men’s and women’s teams are working to make sure their seasons are all they hope for.
The men’s team started their season strong, playing at home on Nov. 11 against Arlington Baptist University, winning 83-56. Junior Dustin Mathis led the Crusaders in scoring, hitting 20 points against Arlington, with senior Michael Wambsganss not far behind at 17 points. Sophomore Jai Love had a highlight of 11 assists for the night, and sophomore Letrell Toussaint followed as the leading rebounder, securing the ball 11 times for Dallas, according to UD athletics.
Meanwhile, the Lady Crusaders played LeTourneau University at home on Nov. 12, losing 82-41. Freshman Beyonce Perry acted as lead scorer of the night, hitting 14 points and shooting 8-8 from the free throw line. She was followed in points by senior Gracie Williams, who scored 11 against the Yellow Jackets. The Lady Crusaders were led in rebounds by junior Jules Oliveti and freshman Madi Horne, who contributed to the night’s total of 31 rebounds, yet struggled to compete against LeTourneau’s 45. Junior Vanessa Diaz, along with freshman Ryhan Colbert, led the night in assists with two each.
The men’s team played well throughout the night. They maintained strong defense and utilized the first game to work on the team’s dynamic. With returners like Mathis and Wambsganss bringing consistency to the court, the freshman worked to find their spots on the court.
When asked about the team’s performance on Tuesday night, Wambsganss said, “We’re feeling good about it. It’s going to be a promising season. The freshmen are doing well. They’re fitting in well with the team dynamic and helping to fill roles.”
With the majority of returning players, and five new members to the team, the men’s team is looking at this season to continue where last year’s season left off.
“We’re hoping to just get better every day,” said Wambsganss. “It’s the goal we’ve had all year.”
For the Lady Crusaders, the outlook is the same. Despite their tough defeat on Tuesday night, the ladies are determined to not let it set the tone for the rest of the season.
“I’m confident and have high hopes for the season so far,” said Diaz. “We are looking to overcome our season last year and raise the bar and we’ve worked hard thus far to get there.”
As the women are facing their season with just nine players this year, the small roster may pose to be both a challenge and an opportunity for the Lady Crusaders.
“We are low in numbers so we have to be careful with fouls,” said Diaz. “But we have been focusing on defense a lot this preseason in hopes that defense will be one of our strongest assets this year.”
UD Basketball continues their season on Tuesday, Nov. 19th, playing against Southwestern Adventist University. Tipoff for the women’s and men’s games will be at 5:30pm and 7:30pm, respectively.