ABILENE, Texas – Junior Destiny Mathews and freshman Emily Holland combined for 51 points Saturday, but McMurry Women’s Basketball ran out of juice in the second half to fall 81-66 to No. 20 East Texas Baptist in Abilene.
One of the top three teams in the American Southwest Conference standings, the nationally-ranked Tigers (12-3, 8-2 ASC) came out with a full head of steam and took a 24-6 lead in the first quarter.
The slow start did not keep McMurry on the mat for long, as the War Hawks (0-15, 0-10 ASC) fired back with a 23-9 run for the rest of the half. Holland had 12 points in the second quarter, while Mathews added seven to spark the comeback.
Ahead 33-29 at the break, ETBU shot 16-30 from the field (53.3 percent) with seven three pointers to maintain the lead and pull away. McMurry fought until the end, nonetheless, scoring 23 points in the fourth quarter.
Mathews led McMurry with 28 points and eight rebounds, shooting 9-19 from the field and 9-10 from the free throw line. She also had three steals and just two turnovers. Holland added 23 points with 6-10 shooting, a 4-7 showing behind the arc and a perfect 7-7 showing at the charity stripe.
Valery Alvarado finished with five points, while D’Asia White and Kristin Salas each added four.
The War Hawks held their own in the rebounding department, as ETBU slightly out-edged McM 38-36. The Tigers are the second-ranked rebounding team in the ASC.
ETBU had four scorers in double figures, led by Kaia Williams with 14 points.
McMurry begins a three-game road stretch next week, starting Thursday, Jan. 27 at Concordia-Texas. Opening tip is set for 5:30 p.m.