ABILENE, Texas — Hardin-Simmons’ men’s basketball team allowed 53 second-half points and lost its season opener 79-75 to Southwestern on Monday night at the Mabee Complex.
The Cowboys used a 21-6 run in the middle of the first half to open up a 32-14 lead in the first half. HSU led 42-26 at halftime.
Southwestern came out in the second half and started to methodically cut into the Cowboy lead. HSU still led 55-45 with 11:32 to play, but Southwestern had an 8-2 to cut it to 57-53 with 9:29 to play.
HSU went on a 7-2 run to push the lead back to 66-55 with 7:42 to play. Southwestern then put on an 18-2 run from the 7:25 mark to the 2:00 mark to take a 73-68 lead and the Cowboys could not recover.
Southwestern shot 58.8 percent in the second half after shooting just 27.6 percent in the first half. HSU shot 32.3 percent in the second half and just 38.6 percent in the game.
Derrick Jefferson led the Cowboys with 24 points and 13 rebounds on 10-of-14 shooting in his return after missing last season with a broken ankle. John Barnes had 19 in his Cowboy debut.
Blake Scott led the Pirates with 22 points and 10 rebounds and Sean Myers had 12 points and nine rebounds for Southwestern.
The Pirates improved to 1-1 with the win and HSU is 0-1. The Cowboys will return to action on Saturday when it hosts Schreiner at 3 p.m.