BELTON, Texas — The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor women’s basketball team withstood a late Hardin-Simmons comeback bid as the Cru posted a 66-58 victory over the Cowgirls Thursday night in Belton. The 7th-ranked UMHB women improve to 15-1 overall and 7-0 in American Southwest Conference play with the victory. The loss drops Hardin-Simmons to 9-6 overall and 3-4 in the ASC on the year.
The Cru held a nine-point lead going into the fourth quarter and stretched it to 55-44 with 8:15 left in the game before Hardin-Simmons started to chip away. The Cowgirls tied the game at 55 with 3:13 remaining and the teams traded three-pointers to leave it knotted up at 58-58 with 1:58 to go. UMHB’s defense stepped up and forced five missed HSU shots and wrapped six free-throws around a Hannah Holt jumper to score the game’s final eight points to pull away for the win. The Cru gained some separation in the second quarter to grab a 35-24 halftime lead and maintained a double-digit edge for much of the third period.
Holt topped UMHB with 16 points. Kendall Rollins added 13 points and Alicia Blackwell scored 12. Aubrie Elliott also reached double figures, coming off the bench to score 11. Jones pulled down 12 rebounds for the Cru and Madison McCoy dished off nine assists. UMHB shot 32 percent from the field and hit just 3-13 from three-point range. The Cru grabbed 17 offensive rebounds and out rebounded the Cowgirls 56-38 in the victory.
Maria Fernandez led HSU with 14 points and Kiana Reed added 10. Keilee Burke led the Cowgirls with 14 rebounds. Hardin-Simmons shot 30 percent from the field as a team and hit just 4-19 from beyond the arc.
The Cru women will host McMurry University for a 1 pm start on Saturday. UMHB will then play five straight road games before returning home to close out the regular season with a three-game home stand.