Women’s basketball opens season at home: Welcome to Dortland

By: Tyler Push, Sports Editor

In its first matchup of the year, Newman’s women’s basketball team fell to the Wayne State Wildcats at home. The final score was 72-65, but one Jet set a new school record.

With her 27 points, junior guard Tiffany Dortland, Barton Community College transfer, broke the previous school record for most points in a Newman debut. The previous record of 22 points was set by Satoria Bell in 2011. Dortland also scored second-most points in a season-opener behind Alexandra Ciabattoni’s 30 points scored back in 2013.

Dortland was a catalyst for the Jets offense during a couple of its scoring runs. She led the Jets in points, rebounds (9) and steals (4).

“It was really just a team effort all around,” she said. “We dove into our motion set that we always run, and they got me the ball so I could attack or shoot.”

Newman got on the board first with two made free throws by Faith Mason-Vestal. Minutes later, Mason-Vestal would block a Wildcat layup that led to a 3-pointer by junior guard Carissa Beck, making the score 9-6, Jets.

The Jets would hold the lead all quarter until a Wildcat 3-pointer made the score 17-18, giving the Wildcats their first lead since the eight-minute mark.

Wayne State started the second quarter with a 10-2 run, but back-to-back layups by Dortland ended the Jets’ scoring drought. A Dortland 3-pointer closed the Wildcat lead to just six, making the score 31-25 nearing the end of the half.

A 6-0 run for the Jets to open the third quarter made the score 38-36, Wayne State. The game would be tied at 40 following a layup by junior forward Britney Ho. A flurry of 3-pointers from each team, capped off by back-to-back makes from Dortland, gave the Jets a 52-49 lead heading into the final quarter.

The Wildcats dominated the fourth quarter, capitalizing on 12-4 and 11-2 runs. Newman found momentum again late, but Wayne State secured the final victory.

In the second home contest of the year, University of Mary handed the Jets their second loss of the season. Dortland, once again, led the team with 16 points.

Newman quickly fell to a five-point deficit to begin the game, but after a timeout, the Jets went on a 7-0 run. The first quarter continued back and forth, and a 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the Marauders a 20-19 lead over the Jets after the first quarter.

University of Mary benefited in the second and third quarters from several missed opportunities by Newman. An 8-0 run in the second and 5-0, 6-0, and 7-0 runs in the third gave the Marauders a commanding lead.

Newman shot 28.8% from the field opposed to its opponents’ 44.6%. 10 3-pointers from the Marauders helped them stay on top throughout the matchup.

A six-minute scoreless drought from either side in the fourth quarter led to a 74-52 victory for the University of Mary.

“When everything is so new with the flow of offense and understanding where shots are going to be coming from, it becomes a little bit of a challenge to make sure you improve,” co-head coach Drew Johnson said. “We will take the weekend and digest it and help our players understand where their opportunities are coming.”

The Jets head to Hays for two neutral site matchups between Cameron University and St. Cloud State University beginning on Friday.

PHOTO: Tejay Cleland, Editor-In-Chief