WICHITA, Kan. - McMurry University's women's basketball team led at the half versus Newman University, but could not hang on in suffering a 61-52 Heartland Conference road loss.
The War Hawks (3-17, 3-11 HC) controlled the boards, out-rebounding the host Jets (13-10, 10-7 HC) by a 42-32 margin and making one more field goal. However, the difference in the contest came at the free throw line where Newman (15-19) had eight more makes than did McMurry (7-9). NU also made twice as many buckets from beyond the three-point arc (6 to 3).
McM sophomore Ana Dominguez had what was arguably her best outing of the season in the loss. Dominguez tallied a game-high 16 points, thanks to an 8-for-14 shooting effort from the field. She also had eight rebounds and a blocked shot.
Senior Keshia Collins had one of her customary well-balanced games, as well. Collins scored 15 points, hauled in seven rebounds, passed off for four assists, made four steals and blocked one shot in her 31 minutes of court time.
The Jets did a good job of cutting off McMurry's scoring from the guard position. Sophomore Sierra Maykus managed eight points and that ended up being the only offense from among the six players at that position for head coach Veronica Snow's squad.
McMurry's sophomore forward Taylor Russell led all rebounders with nine caroms in just 13 minutes of action. Tineka Lawson came off of the War Hawks' bench to contribute six points and eight boards.
In the second half, the teams jockeyed for position in the early going with the game being tied for the fourth time (27-27), before the seventh and, finally, the eighth lead changes occurred. A pair of free throws by Collins gave McMurry the upper hand, 29-27, with 17:01 left in the game.
But back-to-back treys by NU's Alexandria Ciabattoni put her team ahead by four, 33-29, at the 15:47 mark. While the Jets would not trail again in the contest, neither was McMurry ready to go quietly.
Down by seven points with just over four minutes to play, Lawson converted back-to-back layups – with assists to Collins on each – that got the War Hawks within a single possession, 53-50, with 2:11 left to play. That elicited a timeout by NU.
Newman scored on its next two possessions and converted its free throws when McM was forced to foul, hanging on for the victory over the War Hawks.
Ciabattoni led Newman with 15 points and six blocked shots. She was her team's only player in double figures as nine of ten Jets scored in the game, five with six or more points.
McMurry will next play at Oklahoma Christian in Edmund on Monday (Fe. 10) at 5 p.m. in a make-up game from a December 7 weather postponement. It will be the team's third-straight road bout.
Information provided by McMurry athletics department.