ABILENE, Texas - Hardin-Simmons had been knocking on the door against the best teams in the American Southwest Conference and finally the young Cowgirl basketball team came up big in the end with a 63-59 win over league-leading Texas-Tyler on Thursday night at the Mabee Complex.
In the past three games, Hardin-Simmons had second-half leads and lost all three games with a chance to win or tie late. This time the Cowgirls made just enough plays down the stretch.
Maybe the biggest play was a Kourtney Holyfield 3-pointer with 4:28 to play. The Cowgirls had led 56-42 with 10:38 to play but went 6:10 without a field goal and UTT had cut the deficit to 56-50. Holyfield's 3-pointer gave the Cowgirls some breathing room.
Then the team's two most veteran players Becca Chagnon and Joanna Daniel each hit big shots in the final two minutes to preserve the win and keep the Cowgirls in good position for a postseason playoff berth.
HSU played a complete first half and took a 38-26 lead into halftime. The Cowgirls shot 55.6 percent in the half and handled the Patriots full-court pressure. HSU led by as many as 15 points in the half.
The Cowgirls have now beaten the top team in the league, lost in overtime to second place Texas-Dallas, beat Howard Payne and lost by two to Mary Hardin-Baylor. UMHB and Howard Payne are tied for third in the standings.
Daniel led the Cowgirls with 17 points, Chagnon had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Shelby Hanna and Jaclyn von der Heide each had 10 points.
She'Cara Humphrey led three Patriots in double figures with 15 points. Brittany King had 12 points and Danai Woods added 11.
HSU is now 6-9 on the year and 6-6 in ASC play. Texas-Tyler fell to 13-3 overall and 11-2 in league play. HSU hosts Ozarks on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Information for this story provided by HSU Athletics.