ABILENE, Texas – Hardin-Simmons' women's basketball team took sole possession of the American Southwest Conference race with a 67-64 win over No. 13 Mary Hardin-Baylor on Saturday afternoon at a rowdy Mabee Complex.
Mary Hardin-Baylor used a 13-2 run in the first quarter to open an early 17-6 lead with 3:39 to play in the first period. The Cowgirls then went on a 9-3 spurt to close the quarter and the Cru led 20-15 after one period.
HSU continued to chip away at the deficit and took a brief 29-27 lead on a Taylor Gaffney jumper. UMHB scored five straight points and then the Cowgirls closed the half on a 9-0 run and led 38-32 as Brittany Schnabel beat the halftime buzzer with a layup.
The Cowgirls led 44-35 with 7:26 to play in the third quarter and the Cowgirls led the rest of the quarter. HSU led 53-49 heading into the fourth quarter.
Alicia Blackwell's 3-pointer with 2:37 to play gave the Cru a 64-61 lead. HSU answered with a Keilee Burke jumper and Parris Parmer's driving layup gave HSU a 65-64 lead. Both teams traded misses and the Cru had the ball with a chance to win the game, but Burke stepped in for a steal.
Gaffney hit a pair of free throws with 4.9 seconds to play and a last-second 3-point attempt by A'Lexxis Benton was off the mark for UMHB.
Kaitlyn Ellis led a balanced HSU attack with 15 points, Parmer had 14, Schnabel scored 12 and Gaffney 10. Blackwell led the Cru with 17 points and Kendall Rollins added 13.
The Cowgirls pushed their home court winning streak to 19 in a row and improved to 15-4 on the year. UMHB is also 15-4 and now 8-2 in the ASC West.
HSU closes its home slate next week when it hosts Louisiana College and Belhaven.
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