HSU Cowgirls open ASC Tourney as #2 seed from the West Division

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ASC Championship Tournament
Quarterfinals: Thursday, February 27
Game 1: #3W Howard Payne (11-14) vs. #2E East Texas Baptist (19-6), Noon
Game 2: #4E Belhaven (14-11) vs. #1W Mary Hardin-Baylor (21-4), 2:30 p.m.
Game 3: #3E LeTourneau (14-11) vs. #2W Hardin-Simmons (19-6), 5 p.m.
Game 4: #4W Concordia Texas (9-16) vs. #1E UT Dallas (21-4), 7:30 p.m.
Semifinals: Friday, February 28
Game 5: Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner, 5 p.m.
Game 6: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner, 7:30 p.m.
Championship: Saturday, February 29
Game 7: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner, 6 p.m.

About The Cowgirls
HSU has only one senior – Taylor Gaffney. Kaitlyn Ellis and Jesyka Lee are both starters that have been in the program for three years and Logan Haller, Maria Fernandez and Keilee Burke have been with the Cowgirls for two years. The other 10 healthy players on the roster are freshmen or first-year transfers. They were part of Kendra Hassell’s first full recruiting cycle. That group has produced a team that went 19-6 in the regular season and finished one game out of the ASC West title.

HSU At The ASC Tournament
HSU owned the American Southwest Conference Tournament from 1999-2004, winning six straight titles. Coach Kendra (Anderson) Hassell was the MVP of the ASC Tournament for four straight years and led the Cowgirls to four titles. HSU is playing in the ASC tournament for a league-best 19th time and HSU’s six titles are the most in tournament history. HSU broke an eight-year drought of not winning a game in the tournament last season when it advanced to the semifinals. The Cowgirls have a 19-13 all-time record in the event.

Versus The Field
The Cowgirls are 7-3 on the season against the teams in the field and have a win over everyone in the tournament except for UT-Dallas.

Opponent 2019-20 All-Time ASC Tourney
UT-Dallas 0-1 11-14 0-3
East Texas Baptist 1-0 22-8 3-1
LeTourneau 1-0 20-6 1-1
Belhaven 1-0 2-3 –
Mary Hardin-Baylor 1-1 38-30 2-0
Howard Payne 1-1 53-41 1-4
Concordia 2-0 34-13 –

Senior Leader
Taylor Gaffney is the senior leader for the Cowgirls and she has put together a solid career. She has 1,048 career points which ranks 14th all-time at HSU. Her 136 3-pointers rank fifth all-time for the Cowgirls. She also has 287 career assists which is sixth in program history and her 145 steals ranks 13th. She ranks ninth in the conference with 15 points per game. She is also sixth in the league in assists with 90 and third in free throw percentage at .824.

Stepping Up Her Game
Junior forward Kaitlyn Collins has been a reliable player for the Cowgirls, scoring in double figures 15 times this season. She averages 11.6 points per game and is shooting 52.4 percent from the field. In the eight games since frontcourt mate Karlea Ritchie abruptly left the team, Collins has picked up some of the scoring slack averaging 15.4 points in those eight games with seven double-figure scoring outputs. She is averaging 18.8 points in the last four games.

Steadying Presence
Junior guard Jesyka Lee’s numbers don’t jump off the page but the steadying influence she brings to a young team has been immeasurable. She is a hard worker and gets the Cowgirls into their offense and is also a strong defender. She also knows her role and plays it well and HSU is 12-3 since she took over as a starter.

Defensive Force
Sophomore Keilee Burke was the American Southwest Conference West Division defensive player of the year last season and could be in the running again this year. She is averaging 8.4 rebounds per contest and has 42 steals and 38 blocked shots. She is second in the conference in rebound and and blocks and ranks 13th in steals. She has seven double-figure rebounding efforts including four of the last seven games.

All-Around Game
Freshman Parris Parmer has been a big part of the Cowgirls’ success since the first game of the season. She is averaging 13 points, six rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game. She is also shooting 41.3 percent from 3-point range and 80.9 percent from the free throw line. She ranks 13th in the league in scoring, 18th in rebounding, seventh in field-goal percentage, eighth in assists, sixth in free throw percentage and third in 3-point percentage. She is closing in on the school’s all-time record for points in a season by a freshman. She has 326 which ranks fourth. Micki Davis (342), Kathryn Otwell (341) and Lindsey Newcombe (335) are all within reach on Thursday. She also broke the record for 3-pointers by a freshman with 45 passing Kourtney Holyfield’s previous mark of 43. In the last 10 games, she has scored in double figures in seven straight games and is averaging 17.1 points in those games.

Freshmen In the Rotation
The Cowboys have a strong freshman class and along with Parmer – Brittany Schnabel, Triniti Anderson and Hallie Edmondson are in the regular rotation. Schnabel is averaging 6.3 points and has 38 assists. Anderson is averaging 5.4 points and 5.5 rebounds and has 29 blocked shots and Edmondson has 22 3-pointers on the year.

Head Coach Kendra Hassell
Hassell is in her second season with the Cowgirls and she has done a great job of bringing the HSU program back to contention. In two seasons she has posted a 38-14 record, including 24-2 at home that includes a 20-game home winning streak. She spent three seasons as the head coach at UT-Tyler. Hassell is the most decorated Cowgirl player. She was a two-time All-American and three-time ASC player of the year. She also was named the Wade Trophy winner in 2003 as the top player in Division III.

Defense Leads The Way
The Cowgirls rank third in the ASC in defense, allowing just 59.9 points per contest. HSU ranks second in the conference holding opponents to 35 percent shooting on the year. HSU is holding teams to just 25.9 percent shooting from 3-point range, which leads the conference. The Cowgirls have 125 blocked shots on the year, which is 43 more than anyone else in the league.

Give Me All Three of These
The Cowgirls rely heavily on the 3-point shot and have several capable shooters. Taylor Gaffney has 53 makes on the year and Parris Parmer had 45. Brittany Schnabel and Hallie Edmondson also have hit big threes in big games for the Cowgirls. HSU is tied for the league lead in 3-point shooting at 32 percent for the season. HSU set the school record for 3-pointers in a season on Saturday at Ozarks with 194. The previous record was the 2004 team that made 192.

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