Saturday women: How 'bout them Cowgirls?

Hardin-Simmons celebrates its victory over No. 6 Mary Hardin-Baylor in Abiline on Saturday afternoon.
Photo by Scott Burkhalter, Hardin-Simmons University athletics

Hardin-Simmons upped its winning streak to six games by upsetting No. 6 Mary Hardin-Baylor 61-59. Elsewhere Catholic dropped No. 7 Scranton, New Paltz swept No. 17 Geneseo and UW-Whitewater continued its resurgence.

Hardin-Simmons held No. 6 Mary Hardin-Baylor to 16 points in the first half and then held on to beat the Crusaders 61-59 in the meeting of ASC West Division rivals.

The Cowgirls held Mary Hardin-Baylor to 5-for-31 shooting in the first half, including an 0-for-16 showing in the second quarter, and led 30-16 at the break. After an even third quarter, the Crusaders opened the fourth quarter on a 10-0 run capped by A'lexiss Benton's three-pointer that cut HSU's lead to 47-43. The Cowgirls led by five with 21 seconds left when Alicia Blackwell hit a three to draw the Crusaders within two, 58-56. After two free throws by Hardin-Simmons' Taylor Gaffney, Blackwell nailed another three to pull the Crusaders within one with seven seconds to play. Gaffney split a pair of free throws to push the lead to 61-59 and Kaitlyn Ellis blocked a Hannah Holt jump shot to preserve HSU's victory.

No. 6 Mary Hardin-Baylor (20-2) picked up its first loss in conference, but only needs one win in its final three games to clinch the ASC West and hosting rights for the ASC tournament. Hardin-Simmons (15-6, 9-4 ASC) was led by Keilee Burke's 10 points and 13 rebounds.

The other two ranked ASC teams remain tied for first place in the Conference's East Division after wins on Saturday afternoon. No. 15 East Texas Baptist topped Texas-Tyler 68-58 and No. 21 Texas-Dallas crushed Belhaven 92-52.

After starting the season 18-0, No. 7 Scranton lost its second game in three tries, this time falling at Catholic, 59-50. The Lady Royals trailed for much of the game but pulled within four, 52-48, with 2:28 to play. Catholic (13-8, 5-5 Landmark) responded with a 6-0 spurt that secured the Cardinals' upset win on Senior Day. Maggie Rakowsky scored 15 points for Catholic, which sits one game out of the four-team playoff field in the Landmark Conference.

No. 17 SUNY Geneseo saw a lost weekend at home end with a sweep at the hands of SUNY New Paltz that puts the Hawks in position to host the SUNYAC tournament. Rachel Simon poured in 28 points and Lindsay Bettke added 20 more in New Paltz's 73-64 victory over the Knights. New Paltz improved to 16-4, 12-1 in conference and now holds a two-game lead over Geneseo that is effectively three because of the Hawks' two head-to-head victories.

The two undefeated teams from Maine stayed that way with easy wins. Four starters reached double figures for No. 10 St. Joseph's (Maine) and the Monks crushed Johnson and Wales, 85-59. No. 1 Bowdoin throttled Williams 93-56 as Maddie Hasson scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 20 minutes for the Polar Bears.

No. 9 Messiah came from behind to beat Arcadia 56-51 and push its winning streak to 21 games. Alecia Rohrer notched her 17th double-double of the season for the Falcons (21-1). 

Outside the Top 25, UW-Whitewater continued its resurgence with a 68-55 win at home over UW-Eau Claire. The Warhawks shot 13-for-17 from the foul line in the fourth quarter and Olivia Freckmann tallied 15 points and 16 rebounds for Whitewater, which has won five straight after starting WIAC play 1-3.

Freshman Lindsay Gauldin posted a double-double (17 points, 15 rebounds) and Guilford beat Washington and Lee 64-51, keeping the Quakers a half-game in front of Emory and Henry. Mass-Dartmouth rolled up a 61-34 lead on Eastern Connecticut after three quarters and the Corsairs went on to win their seventh straight, 73-55. Nakira Examond finished with 10 points and 18 rebounds for Mass-Dartmouth (17-3, 10-1 Little East).

Ripon grabbed first place in the MWC with a win and some help. Maggie Oimoen scored 23 points for Ripon and the Red Hawks defeated Lawrence, 63-51. Elsewhere Grinnell turned 19 Monmouth turnovers into 21 points in a 62-57 win. TCNJ did the same in the NJAC with the help of another set of Red Hawks. Montclair State knocked off Rowan 69-55 which allowed TCNJ to move into first with its 84-70 win at Ramapo.

Caroline Taphorn scored a layup to lift Capital over John Carroll 60-58 and throw the OAC race wide open again. John Carroll's loss drops the Blue Streaks to 10-3 in conference and just a half-game up on Baldwin Wallace which beat Wilmington 78-74 in overtime. Tori Rappach scored 16 points for Mount Union and the Purple Raiders defeated Otterbein 65-50, leaving those two teams 1.5 games off the conference lead.

Benedictine rained 21 three-pointers on Rockford and set a new Northern Athletics Conference record in 110-41 route. Rosemont crushed Wilson 81-49, setting a new program record for wins in a season and wrapping up the top seed in the CSAC playoffs in the process.