GEORGETOWN, Texas – Southwestern used suffocating defense and forced Mary Hardin-Baylor into 22 turnovers to secure their second win of the season, 77-66, on Monday evening.
Southwestern turned up the heat defensively early and built a six point lead, 12-6, with under one minute to play by forcing six Crusader turnovers in the first quarter alone. UMHB got hot from three point range in the second quarter but the Pirates held a slight one point advantage, 28-27, at halftime.
Madison Edwards' three to open the second half kicked off a 9-2 run that extended SU's lead to seven, 37-30, with 6:34 to go in the third. Southwestern pushed their lead to ten by the end of the frame, 50-40.
UMHB clawed their way back and pulled within three, 52-49, with 8:29 remaining, but that is as close as the Crusaders would get as the Pirates went on a 10-3 run over the next four minutes to lead by ten once again with four and a half to play.
Southwestern took advantage of UMHB's miscues and closed out the contest with a pair of free throws by Olivia Podaras to arrive at the 77-66 final.
The Pirates (2-5) shot 50% from three point range and won the battle of the boards 48-35. Tori Carraway led Southwestern with 13 points and 10 rebounds despite limited action due to foul trouble. Zhazze Brown added 11 while Edwards and Podaras contributed 10. Mary Hardin-Baylor's Jonelle Smith led all scorers with 22 points.
SU returns to the road to face Hardin-Simmons in Abilene on Thursday at 5:30 pm. Southwestern dropped the contest earlier this season 62-57 at home on November 19th.