The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor women's basketball team trailed just once and opened up a double-digit first half lead on the way to an 88-79 victory over Hardin-Simmons Thursday evening in Abilene. The Cru improves to 14-2 overall and 7-1 in American Southwest Conference play with its tenth consecutive victory. HSU falls to 4-10 overall and 2-5 in the ASC with the loss. The game was the ASC West Division opener for both teams.
UMHB opened the game with an 8-2 run before the Cowgirls bounced back to take their only lead of the game at 13-12 with 1:36 remaining in the first quarter. Ashley Caldwell answered with a three-point play to make it 15-13 Cru and UMHB closed the period with a 5-0 run. The Cru would stretch the lead to as many as 11 points in the second quarter and took a 45-36 lead into halftime. UMHB led by 14 points midway through the third period and Hardin-Simmons never got closer than three points the rest of the way as the Cru coasted to the victory.
Hannah Holt topped UMHB with 20 points and Alicia Blackwell added 19 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Blackwell also dished off five assists. Kendall Rollins scored 13 points and Aubrie Elliott chipped in 11 off the bench. The Cru shot 41 percent from the field as a team and went 9-23 from three-point range. UMHB forced 20 HSU turnovers while giving the ball away just nine times.
Danie Mabry hit 5-9 three-points and scored a game-high 25 points to lead the Cowgirls. Karlea Ritchie scored 14 off the bench for HSU. Hardin-Simmons 67 percent from the field in the fourth quarter and hit 46 percent for the game. The Cowgirls were 9-16 from beyond the arc and out rebounded UMHB 41-36 in the loss.
The Cru women close out their road swing with a 2:00 PM tip-off at McMurry University Saturday in Abilene. UMHB will then return home to play its next five games at home.