SAN ANTONIO, Texas (BCH Sports) – The HSU Cowgirls and Redlands Bulldogs came out of the gate shooting lights out in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament and won the game, 77-60.

Redlands shot better than 83 percent to take a 23-22 lead over the Cowgirls in the opening frame.

Things slowed down in the second quarter, but HSU started to assert themselves in the second frame. They held the Bulldogs to just 11 points and took a 40-34 lead at the half.

The third quarter saw Kendra Whitehead’s team extend the lead to 15. Paris Kiser and She’Ray Wilson led the way for the Cowgirls in the quarter. They combined to score 11 of the teams 22 3rd quarter points. They led 62-47 heading into the final frame.

Overall, Natasha Blizzard and Kiser led HSU in scoring with 18 points. Kiki Gonzales was next with 9 points off the bench. Gonzalez was the top rebounder for HSU in the game six boards.

Head coach Kendra Whitehead said, “I’m just really proud of our kids, and I’ve felt like they were good enough to win a tournament game and I’m so happy that they got to experience it because they’ve put in the work, they do things right. These guys are in the gym game and night, you know they’re taking care of themselves and eating right and doing all those things and I’m so glad to see it pay off.”

Natasha Blizzard said, “Honestly, it’s just an amazing feeling knowing none of the girls on the team has experienced this. So, for all of us, we’re just so happy to be in this next round of the tournament.”

HSU plays the winner of game two in San Antonio between host school Trinity and American Southwest Conference tournament champion UT-Dallas on Saturday at 8 p.m.