BELTON, Texas - Hardin-Simmons' women's basketball team came up big down the stretch and was able to hold off Mary Hardin-Baylor, 70-63, in American Southwest Conference action at the Mayborn Campus Center in Belton.
The Cowgirls outscored UMHB 12-5 over the final 4:18 after the game was tied at 58. HSU hit the biggest shot of the game with 1:11 to play when Joanna Daniel found a wide open Rachel Holik at the top of the lane and she hit the 15-footer as the shot clock expired.
HSU hit 6-of-6 at the free throw line in the final :40 to preserve the win. The Cowgirls were 22-of-28 at the free throw line in the game, which offset 37 percent shooting from the field. HSU also forced 23 turnovers in the contest.
UMHB took an early 4-0 lead in the game, but HSU responded with a 9-0 run and led for most of the first half until UMHB took a late 30-26 lead in the half and led 30-28 at halftime. The Cru pushed the lead to 33-28 early in the second half, its biggest lead of the game. HSU then went on a 9-2 run and HSU never trailed the rest of the way.
Popelar led the Cowgirls with 21 points, despite a 6-for-22 shooting night. She also had seven steals and six rebounds and played all 40 minutes. Taylor Rose added a career-best 11 points.
Taylor Tucker led the Cru with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Kourtney Beavers added 10 points for UMHB.
The game featured 10 ties and the lead changed hands three times and no one led by more than five points until the final minute.
The Cowgirls are now 7-8 on the year and 5-4 in ASC West action. UMHB fell to 2-12 overall and 1-8 in ASC play. HSU returns home for six straight games at the Mabee Complex, beginning with Sul Ross State on Thursday.
Information provided by HSU athletics department.