- Inside Athletics
- Staff Directory
- Bleu Zone
|Jan. 23, 2016|
|Talladega (Ala.)||Indv. Leaders||Dillard University|
|#10 Qua Doster - 24||Points||#23 Demetric Austin - 28|
|2 Players (#11,#35) - 5||Rebounds||#23 Demetric Austin - 10|
|#2 Jordan Washington - 5||Assists||#32 Dennis Hightower - 8|
|Talladega (Ala.)||Team Statistics||Dillard University|
|40.3% (25 - 62)||Field Goals %||50.8% (30 - 59)|
|34.3% (12 - 35)||3 Point Field Goals %||28.6% (6 - 21)|
|70.6% (12 - 17)||Free Throws||64.3% (18 - 28)|
|16||2nd Chance Pts||22|
By Astasia Williams (SR/Baton Rouge, La.),Student Sports Reporter
The Dillard University vs Talladega game could've been a scene for a dramatic basketball movie. It had all the storylines to build up the plot. You have the mentor coaching against the mentee. A nationally ranked team who is coming off an 10-game win streak. Then you have a program, which had only 15 wins the previous four seasons, hungry to change the program's losing reputation. Even though the Tornadoes is a team that knows how to play like champions, the Bleu Devils were determined to not let this game slip away.
When Coach Newell was hired, he reiterated that he wanted to bring back the pride in Dillard Basketball. Well, in his first season at Dillard, I believe he has brought back a huge sense of optimism for this basketball program. The Bleu Devils, who won just 15 games over the previous four seasons, are off to a 11-6 start this season and 3-1 in the GCAC play. The stands are filled wih students every game. This is a huge deal because, the past years you will only see a full house for the season opener and the Bleu Devil Classic. With a whole new team, besides four returners from the previous season team, the students have faith in this whole new roster and cheer their team to victory.
Dillard vs Talladega became the NAIA Game of The Week and was streamed nationally. Coming into the Battlefield for their first on the road conference match, the Tornadoes were 3-0 against conference opponents. Honestly, this Dillard Basketball team could care less about your records. Both teams have been outstanding this season. Dillard and Talladega both rank in the top 20 in team scoring. Talladega, on an 10-game win streak, also has three wins over top-25 opponents so far this season. The Tornadoes rank in the top 10 in scoring margin, rebound margin, field goal percentage, and three-point percentage. Junior guard Jordan Washington, leads his team to victories and is the nation's ninth-leading.
The major key (yes, I totally said this in Dj Khaled's voice) for the Bleu Devil's success has been their rebounding. Dillard is second in the nation in offensive rebounding. Newcomer junior forward Demetric Austin (JR/Washington, D.C.), finished with 28 points and 12 rebounds this game. He leads the team in both scoring (18.3 ppg) and rebounding (9.4 rpg). Junior guard Dennis Hightower (JR/Chicago, Ill.) handles business defensively and put his teammates in great situations to score. Hightower finished with 13 points and seven assists for this game. He ranks 3rd nationally in steals and 8th nationally in assists. Austin and Hightower have a complete support system and everyone knows how to play their roles so the next person can be successful. One player who is starting to spread his wings is Jesse Ward (SO/Maringouin, La.). Ward finished the night with nine points. But if you have two eyes, you can perfectly see that when Ward is on the floor he gets the job done and then some.
There's a lot of season left to play, but please continue to have faith in the Bleu Devils and fill the bleachers. This team is trying to go for it all and wants everyone to support them on this journey.
Astasia Williams is a senior multimedia journalism major at Dillard University and a member of the women's volleyball team. She holds memberships in the National Association for Black Journalism (NABJ) and the Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM).
Facebook: Astasia Williams
Youtube: Astasia Williams