UMHB Press Release
By: Jon Wallin
ABILENE, Texas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor women’s basketball team was ice cold in the first half but still rallied to give themselves a chance to send the game to overtime only to fall short in a 61-59 loss to Hardin-Simmons University Saturday in Abilene. The loss drops the sixth-ranked Cru to 20-2 overall and 12-1 in American Southwest Conference play. The Cowgirls improve to 15-6 overall and 9-4 in the ASC with the victory.
UMHB trailed by 14 points going into the fourth quarter, but opened the period with a 10-0 run. A’Lexiss Benton’s three-pointer cut the gap to 47-43 with 6:22 left to play. Hardin-Simmons stretched the lead back to eight points before the Cru rallied again. Hannah Holt’s lay-in pulled UMHB to within 53-51 with 2:01 remaining. After the Cowgirls pushed the lead back out to five, Alicia Blackwell wrapped three-pointers around two Taylor Gaffney free throws to make it a 60-59 game with seven seconds to go. Gaffney went one of two from the free-throw line to make it 61-59 before UMHB raced down the court. The Cru had a good look at a game-tying basket, but the Cowgirls were credited with a block on a contested shot under the basket to preserve the win. UMHB was ice-cold in the first half, shooting just 17 percent as a team. The Cru was 0-16 from the field in the second quarter, only managing six free throws as Hardin-Simmons built a 30-16 halftime lead.
Holt led UMHB with 15 points and eight rebounds. Blackwell added 14 points and five boards, but no other Cru player scored more than six points in the loss. UMHB shot 30 percent from the floor as a team and went just 3-15 from three-point range. The Cru also committed 20 turnovers and shot seven fewer free throws than Hardin-Simmons on the day.
Maria Fernandez led HSU with 14 points on 3-5 shooting from beyond the arc. Ryan Bush had 12 points and Kaitlyn Ellis and Keilee Burke added 10 points each. Burke also grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds despite HSU being out rebounded 49-33 in the game. The Cowgirls shot 42 percent from the field as a team
UMHB will now return home to close out the regular season with three straight home games. That stretch opens with a 1 pm tip-off against Concordia Texas next Saturday. The Cru needs just one more victory to clinch the outright ASC West Division title and the right to host the ASC Championship Tournament.