CLARKSVILLE, Ark. – Hardin-Simmons’ women’s basketball team beat the University of the Ozarks 59-44 on Monday afternoon and clinched the American Southwest Conference regular-season title and earned the right to host the ASC Championship in three weeks.

The Cowgirls got off to a slow start and trailed 18-15 with 7:08 to play in the second quarter. HSU then exploded on an 18-0 run over the next 4:43 to open up a 33-18 lead and were never threatened the rest of the game. HSU led 35-22 at halftime.

HSU continued to build on the lead and pushed it out to 50-31 after three quarters and led 59-34 for its largest lead of the game. Ozarks scored the final 10 points of the game to narrow the final outcome.

Neither team shot well in the game as the Cowgirls were just 37.7 percent and Ozarks was 28.6 percent. The Cowgirls were able to get out and run and had a 21-5 advantage in fast break points.

As usual, it was a balanced attack for the Cowgirls. Parris Parmer and Hallie Edmondson had 10 points each and Paris Kiser and Samantha Tatum added 10 points each.

Amanda Turpin was the leading scorer for Ozarks with 12 points.

The win was the Cowgirls 17th in a row and moved their record to 20-2 overall. They are now 15-0 in conference play. Ozarks fell to 8-13 overall and to 5-9 in ASC play.

HSU will return to Abilene to play at McMurry on Saturday 1 p.m.

The ASC tournament will be held in Abilene. The format for the event will be the top two receiving byes and the No. 3 seed hosting the No. 6 seed on Tuesday and the No. 4 seed hosting the No. 5 seed at the higher seed. The semifinals and final will be at Hardin-Simmons on Feb. 24-25.