Cru fall to Hardin-Simmons
Monday, 18 February 2013 by Matthew Girard
The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor women's basketball team ended their six-game road stretch with a 67-56 loss to Hardin-Simmons, but the Crusaders finished the road trip 3-3 and to keep themselves in the race for a spot in the American Southwest Conference Tournament.
UMHB (5-15, 4-11) took an early 17-16 lead against the Cowgirls (12-8, 10-4), but Hardin-Simmons would eventually take a 28-23 lead into halftime. The Cowgirls opened the second half on a 7-0 run and never looked back to get the win.
"We were dead-legged, our intensity was down and I think spending the whole month on the road finally hit us," UMHB coach Lisa Curliss-Taylor said. "I wasn't pleased with that game, but I know a lot of it had to do with our fatigue."
Taylor Tucker led the way for the Crusaders with 24 points and 15 rebounds, while Kourtney Bevers scored eight points and Jovana Miles grabbed 12 rebounds in the loss.
With her effort on Thursday and a 20-point, 10-rebound effort against Concrodia, Tucker was named the ASC Player of the Week for the week ending Feb. 3.
"It's definitely about time," Curliss-Taylor said of Tucker. "She's been consistent as far as scoring and rebounding, and I think it's good that she finally got that (award) and hopefully she can continue to play as well as she did during that stretch in our final games."
The Cru will have the opportunity to better their postseason chances tonight at 5:30 p.m. as UMHB will host Schreiner University (8-14, 4-12) to kickoff a four-game home stand to finish the regular season.
UMHB previously beat Schreiner 68-59 on Jan. 19, but Curliss-Taylor said Schreiner has improved since the Cru saw them last.
"We are going to have to adjust our defense a little bit," Curliss-Taylor said. "We blew an 18-point lead against them. They've been playing well, they are going to be intense, they like to attack, so we are going to have to adjust our defense to defend them a little bit better than we did at their place."
UMHB will also host Texas Lutheran University (7-15, 5-11) on Saturday with a chance to move ahead of TLU for the fourth-place spot in the ASC West Division standings.
Along with the importance of Saturday's outcome, the Crusaders will also raise awareness and money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund during their "Pink Zone" game against TLU.
"Most everyone on our team and staff have known someone with cancer, so it's important for us to play in memory of those people and hopefully raise money for the cause," Curliss-Taylor said.
UMHB will finish its regular season against ASC West-division leaders Howard Payne on Feb. 14 and then will end the season against Sul Ross University on Feb. 16.
"I'm thankful that we are not on the road," Curliss-Taylor said. "Every game is important right now because we are trying to fill that fourth-place spot to get into the tournament. We are taking it one game at a time and we really need to at least go 3-4 in the next two weeks."