SHREVEPORT, La. – The Ladies kept the contest close through the majority of the first half, but the Cowgirls opened a nine-point halftime lead and pulled away in the second half as Centenary (0-1) fell to Hardin-Simmons (1-0) 83-53 Saturday afternoon, November 10.
Down 24-18 in the second, sophomore Haylee Washington made a pair of layups to pull Centenary within two with 6:24 left in the half. Washington blocked a career high four shots. Centenary as a team blocked 11 shots, six in the second half alone.
In the third quarter, Centenary trailed 41-27 until sophomore Darelzray Bellard made a three, the Ladies got a stop, and freshman Elizabeth Matthews made a pair of free throws to bring the deficit back to single digits.
Bellard led the Ladies with 13 points.
However, with Hardin-Simmons up 44-34, nine unanswered helped the visitors lead by 17 after three.
With the Ladies trailing 53-38, 11 unanswered by the Cowgirls pushed the deficit to 24. Karlea Richie hit a three and Maria Fernandez made a pair from the line. A Fernandez and Richie layup pushed the run to nine, and a layup from Kaitlyn Ellis put Hardin-Simmons up 64-38. Freshman Priya Ponia stopped the run with a three for the Ladies.
The Cowgirls used a 40-16 advantage in points in the paint for the 30-point win. Five scored in double-figures for Hardin-Simmons, led by 17 points by Taylor Gaffney. Ritchie added 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Centenary returns to action Thursday night, November 15, when it hosts Louisiana College. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.