SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – The University of Michigan-Dearborn women's basketball team opened the 2019-20 season with a tough test against NAIA DI (RV) foe Xavier University-Louisiana at the Blue Devil Classic Friday in Southfield, Mich.
The No. 22 Wolverines led from the middle of the first quarter on, but were unable to pull away from the Gold. UM-Dearborn withstood a late push from XULA and held on for the season-opening 70-65 win.
UM-Dearborn was sparked early by Maricela Macias off the bench in the first quarter with a pair of 3-pointers and eight points in the opening 10 minutes, while senior Laekyn Jaciuk took control in the second to push the Wolverines to a four-point halftime lead with nine at the break.
The Wolverines led by eight in the final minute, but XULA scored five points in 11 seconds to cut the deficit to three. Jaciuk hit a pair of free throws in the closing seconds to secure the win, finishing with a game-high 19 points on 5-of-15 shooting from the field and 9-of-12 from the line.
Ro'Zhane Wells added 14 points, four rebounds, and three assists, while Macias finished with 10 points and five rebounds off the bench. Jasia Caldwell and Cydney Williams each pulled down seven rebounds. Mariah Taylor added nine points and four rebounds as well.
The Wolverines shot 20-of-55 from the field, 5-of-20 from deep and 25-of-36 from the line, while recording 10 assists and 21 turnovers.
The Gold was led by Essence Wells with 14 points.
UM-Dearborn continues play at the Blue Devil Classic against Point Park University at 2 pm Saturday.