On Friday, March 1, the Cru women’s basket- ball team entered into the NCAA National Championship Tournament. Fans of the team were filled with excitement, as this is the first time the team has earned a spot in this tour- nament in the program’s history.
The Cru traveled to Richardson to play the first game of the tournament against the Lynx of Rhodes College. Rhodes got off to a great start with consistent scoring in the first few minutes of the game.
Their defense kept the Cru at a zero in the score column for the first two and a half minutes of the first quarter. However, the Cru starting capitalizing on their three-pointers, which helped them begin to close the lead. The Cru went 8 for 14 from the three-point line in the first half.
They also began to capitalize on their defensive opportunities. In the second quarter, the Crusaders forced seven turnovers. These turnovers by Lynx College launched the Crusaders into the lead.
At the end of the first half, the score was 39-23 with UMHB in the lead. At this point, the Cru held on to the lead and did not look back.
The game ended with a 70-56 Crusader victory, which brought them into the second round of playoffs.
In their second game, they met the UT Dallas Comets for the third time this season. They met once in the regular season, where the Cru achieved a five-point victory and once in the conference championship, where the Comets earned a five-point victory. They were scheduled to meet again on Saturday, March 2 for the second round of the tournament.
Fans did not know how to feel entering into this game, since the teams were so evenly matched. The Cru took the lead early on and kept it for the remainder of the game.
This would not have been possible without the Cru’s defense keeping the Comets at bay. The Cru had two blocksin the first quarter and numerous defensive rebounds. They also had their fair share ofsteals. UMHB totaled fivesteals throughout the game,and that definitely impacted the Comet’s offense. The
Cru finished the game witha 66-57 victory and entered into the third round of the championship tournament.
On Friday, March 8, the Crusaders left Richardson and traveled to Crestview Hills, Kentucky to play Washington University in St. Louis. It was a very close game, and the two teams stayed within one point of each other all the way to the five-minute mark of the second quarter, causing several lead changes. At this point, WUSTL slowly started to increase their lead. Their defense was a force to be reckoned with, and they caused the Cru to have trouble scoring. In the first half, the Cru shot for just 26 percent. They increased their shooting percentage in the second half to 33 percent, but it was not enough.
WUSTL ultimately defeated The Cru with a final scoreof 63-46. This caused the Cru their spot in the next round of the tournament, ending their season. However, this writer could not be more proud of them. They had a fantastic season and went farther than the team ever has before. Next year looks promising for this strong team.