By: Adam Ledyard (ETBU Athletics)
MARSHALL, Texas – Competing against their second nationally ranked team in a week, #9 East Texas Baptist University held off #10 Hardin-Simmons University, 58-54, in American Southwest Conference play. It is the first loss of the season for HSU as ETBU improves to 6-2 and 2-1 in the ASC.
Mallory Stephens was the only ETBU player in double figures with 11 points. Kaia Williams and Mollie Dittmar both had eight points while Taylor Singleton added six points, six rebounds, four steals, and two blocks. Bridget Upton grabbed six rebounds to lead the team. Brittany Schnabel had 14 points for HSU.
ETBU finished making 33% of their shots from floor, was 22% from the arc, and 46% (6-of13) from the line. HSU made 31% overall, 17% from the three-point line, and 69% (18-of-26) on free throws. ETBU edged out HSU in rebounds, 43-40, forcing 17 turnovers with 10 steals.
The first half was just as exciting as HSU took a 5-2 lead to start. Hanna Hudson tied the game at five at the 6:53 mark going on a 10-run. After HSU made it 5-2 with 7:27 left, they didn’t hit a shot from the floor until the 1:55 mark going over five minutes without scoring. In that time ETBU took a five-point lead, 10-5, and then Mallory Stephens made it 13-7, with 40 seconds left on a three-point shot. HSU banked in a lay up to finish up the quarter trailing, 13-9.
HSU outscored ETBU, 15-10, in the second quarter for a one-point lead at the half, 24-23. The game was tied was tied at 16 when Hudson put ETBU back up by three, 19-16, with 7:36 left. HSU went on a 8-2 run over five minutes for a five-point lead, 24-19 with 2:49 to go. Lay ups from Dittmar and Singleton cut the HSU lead to one, 24-23, to end the half.
It was another defensive stand for ETBU in the third quarter outscoring HSU, 18-11. It took four minutes for ETBU to tie the game at 29 after being down by four (29-25). Tied at 31, ETBU went on a 7-2 run for a five-point lead, 38-33 (3:24). After HSU came within three (38-35), both teams could not score over the next three minutes until Bridget Upton nailed a three-pointer for a 41-35 lead. That is how the third quarter ended as HSU missed a three-point attempt with seven seconds left.
ETBU went up by eight points, 43-35, with 8:05 left in the game and kept their distance. With 4:48 to play, it was 48-41 on a Mallory Stephens layup. Building a six-point lead, 52-46, with just over three minutes to play in the game, ETBU was able to make the needed shots in that time to come away with the win. HSU took the lead on a Schnabel lay up with 54 seconds left, 54-53, but 13 seconds later Williams banked in what would be the winning shot for the 55-54 lead. With 37 seconds left, HSU had an open look for a three-pointer that failed but grabbed the offensive rebound. Just four seconds later they turned it over as ETBU took over with 17 seconds left.
Grace Stephens was fouled with 14 seconds left making one-of-two free throws as ETBU made it a two-point game, 56-54. ETBU’s defense once again came up big forcing HSU to take a three-pointer that came up short with Grace Stephens landing the rebound and getting fouled. She then converted both free throws with four seconds left for a four-point advantage, 58-54. HSU missed a shot with two seconds left as ETBU took the rebound and the win, 58-54.
STAT OF THE GAME
For the sixth game in a row, ETBU held their opponent to single digits in one quarter of the game. HSU scored only nine points in the first quarter.
ETBU has now won five of the last six meetings with HSU
Blake Arbogast is 2-1 vs. top 25 teams and 1-1 this year
ETBU’s defense held HSU to no three-pointers (0-for-7) in the first quarter
ETBU had 23 fouls to HSU’s 12 fouls
Bridget Upton tied her career high in rebounds with six
Mollie Dittmar went 4-of-4 from the floor and was 6-of-6 on the weekend vs. McMurry and HSU
ETBU has led the rebounding advantage in every game this season and was +3 vs. HSU
ETBU will not play until next Saturday when they travel to Longview, Texas, to face LeTourneau University at 1:00 p.m.