TYLER, Texas – Hardin-Simmons' women's basketball fell to UT Tyler, 78-64, on Friday evening in non-conference action at the Herrington Patriot Center in Tyler.
The Cowgirls have dropped three straight games and are now 7-3 on the season. UT Tyler won its fifth straight game to improve to 5-3 on the year. It also was a homecoming for head coach Kendra Hassell who had been the Patriots coach the past three seasons before returning to take over the HSU program.
It was the final game in the series with UT Tyler as the Patriots are leaving the American Southwest Conference after this season. All games against the Patriots do not count in the league standings this year.
However, the Patriots scored the final five points of the third quarter and the first four points of the fourth quarter to push the lead out to 59-50. Gaffney then hit a bucket for the Cowgirls and UT-Tyler responded with 12 more points to push the run out to 21-2 and opened a 71-52 lead with 4:56 to play.
The two teams traded buckets early on and were tied at 10-10 in the first quarter. The Patriots used a 9-2 run late in the quarter to push the lead out to 21-14. UTT lead 24-15 after a Samantha Odom 3-pointer with 8:52 to play in the second quarter.
HSU chipped away as freshman Samantha Newton, who made her first career start, hit back-to-back 3-pointers for the Cowgirls and Maria Fernandez added a shot from deep to cut the deficit to 26-25 with 7:06 to play in the half. The Cowgirls trailed 32-29 with 3:41 to go in the first half, but the Patriots closed the half on a 7-2 run and took a 39-31 lead into halftime.
Spiker led UTT with 24 points and Odom added 17.
HSU returns to action on Thursday when it hosts Austin College at 7 p.m.
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