ABILENE - Hardin-Simmons' women's basketball team won its fifth straight game as it beat Texas Lutheran 60-51 in American Southwest Conference action at the Mabee Complex in Abilene.
Sophomore Rachel Holik gave the Cowgirls a quick 5-0 lead in the first half on a lay-up and a 3-pointer to start the game and TLU stayed with the Cowgirls and actually led 16-15 with 10:14 to play. The Cowgirls then used a 10-2 run over the next 4:29 to take a 25-17 lead. In the run Alexis Popelar had six points and freshman Sara Vargas had four points.
The Cowgirls pushed the lead out to 10 at 31-21 on a Popelar 3-pointer with :29 to play in the half for the biggest lead of the first half. TLU scored the final basket of the half to give HSU a 31-23 lead at halftime.
TLU cut the HSU lead to 37-34 with 12:33 to play in the game, but HSU then exploded on a 13-2 run fueled by three 3-pointers. Joanna Daniel bookended the run with 3-pointers and HSU led 50-36 with 6:43 to play.
Another Daniel 3-pointer, her fifth of the game, gave HSU its biggest lead of the day at 55-38. The Bulldogs hit three 3-pointers in the final minute of the game to setup the final score of 60-51.
Daniel led the Cowgirls with 15 points, six assists and five rebounds. Popelar added 11 points and 10 rebounds and Holik had 13 points. Vargas had her best game as a Cowgirl with 10 points, eight rebounds, four blocked shots and three steals.
Italy Taylor led a balanced TLU attack with 10 points.
HSU improved to 11-8 overall and 9-4 in ASC action. Texas Lutheran fell to 6-14 and 4-10 in league play. The Cowgirls will close out its home slate next week against Mary Hardin-Baylor and Concordia.
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