ABILENE, Texas – Hardin-Simmons' women's basketball team never trailed in a 72-64 win over crosstown rival McMurry on Saturday afternoon at the Mabee Complex.
Both teams came out tight playing in front of the biggest crowd of the season and the game was tied at 2-2 with 5:09 to play in the first quarter. The Cowgirls then went on a 9-3 spurt to take an 11-5 lead. McMurry tied the game at 13 at the end of the quarter.
The Cowgirls methodically pushed out the lead in the second quarter and Maria Fernandez hit a 3-pointer with 5:10 to play to give the Cowgirls a 27-16 advantage. HSU pushed the advantage out to 39-22 and led 42-27 at halftime.
Taylor Gaffney's 3-pointer with 3:53 to play in the third quarter gave the Cowgirls their largest lead of the game at 53-33, but McMurry made a push and cut the Cowgirl lead to 56-45 at the end of the quarter.
HSU kept the War Hawks at a good distance the rest of the way and the eight-point final margin was the closest the game had been since early in the second quarter.
The Cowgirls received a big effort from its two freshmen starters. Keilee Burke had a career-best 17 points and added 13 rebounds for the Cowgirls and Fernandez had 15 points and six assists. It was the fourth double-double of the year for Burke, who leads the ASC in rebounding. The 15 points for Fernandez tied a career high.
Gaffney added 12 points, four assists and four rebounds and Kaitlyn Ellis had 10 points.
Sarah Doherty led McMurry with 16 points and Skyler Reyna had 13 points and 14 rebounds. HSU limited the War Hawks to 35.4 percent shooting in the game.
HSU is now 13-6 on the year and 7-4 in league play. McMurry fell to 6-14 overall and 3-8 in ASC action. HSU will host Concordia on Thursday in its next action.
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