Special to Inside The Pew
PINEVILLE, La. — Hardin-Simmons’ women’s basketball team gave a valiant effort but came up just short in a 59-53 loss to No. 22 Louisiana College in the first round of the American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament on Feb. 24 at the H.O. West Fieldhouse in Pineville, La.
The Cowgirls led most of the first half and still led 20-16 with 8:29 to play in the first half. HSU then went 8:13 without a field goal until Angela Newcombe’s jumper at the end of the half gave the Wildcats a 27-23 halftime lead. LC had an 11-0 run during the scoring drought.
The game featured six ties and six lead changes and it was tied for the final time at 36-36 with 13:19 to play. LC then used another spurt to take the lead for good. This time it was an 8-0 run. LC eventually led by 12 at 57-45 with 2:27 to play.
The Cowgirls had one last rally in them and cut the deficit to 57-53 with :46 to play after back-to-back 3-pointers by Coco Cartwright and Alexis Popelar.
The game ended the careers of three Cowgirl seniors – Jasmine Lewis, Kara Looten and Newcombe. Newcombe finished the game with 15 points and 17 rebounds for her 19th double-double of the season. Looten also had a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Popelar led the way for the Cowgirls with 21 points. Roslyn Wilmer led a balanced LC attack with 16 points.
The Cowgirls outrebounded Louisiana College 59-39 in the game, but turned the ball over 30 times and that led to taking 10 less shots than the Wildcats. LC shot just 27.5 percent in the game and the Cowgirls shot 34 percent.
HSU finished the year with a record of 13-13. LC is now 23-3 on the year and will face McMurry in the ASC Semifinals on Saturday.