The McMurry University women's basketball team earned its second win of the season, and first over a Heartland Conference opponent, as it defeated the Lions of the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, 72-69, on Saturday afternoon.
The game began with neither team gaining much of an upper hand. The teams would be tied at 6-6, until a 13-4 run by the Lions, that spanned just over four minutes, gave UAFS its largest lead of the game, 19-10.
A layup by Keshia Collins at the 8:41 mark, cut the Lions' lead to five, 21-16. After the two teams traded a few baskets, McMurry went on a small, 6-1 run that was capped by a jumper from Rikeita Thomas to knot the game at 24-24 with 6:18 remaining in the half. McM would then take its first lead on a jumper by Sierra Maykus at the 5:03 mark.
McMurry would expand their lead to as large as four on a free-throw from Ana Dominguez and would head into the break up by three, 37-34.
The lead was quickly erased at the start of the second half when UAFS went on a six point run of their own over the first four minutes of the half, to take the 40-37 lead. The two programs would continue to keep it close with neither team gaining too much momentum.
With the Lions up by a point, 49-48, with 12:03 to play, McMurry went on its largest run of the afternoon. A three-pointer by Jaryn Koenig gave McM the two-point advantage. Back-to-back buckets by Dominguez and a jumper by Tory Salazar expanded the advantage to eight points, 57-49, with 9:06 remaining in the game.
Fort Smith would not go away in the contest, however, as they would steadily chip away at the eight-point cushion, eventually re-gaining the lead, 64-63, on a Chauntel Terry basket with 3:04 to play.
The War Hawks would regain the lead for good on a big three-point basket by Thomas with just over a minute remaining. With McMurry up, 68-67, Thomas expanded the lead on another basket, and free-throw shooting would keep UAFS at bay, as the War Hawks picked up the victory, 72-69.
Offensively, McM saw a balanced attack, with four players reaching double-figures on the day. Thomas finished the day with 18 points on 8-of-18 shooting. Ana Dominguez registered her second-straight double-double, posting 14 points and 13 boards. Collins and Claire Bruffey each finished with 12 on the day.
McMurry will be back in action on Saturday, December 8, when they play at home for the first time this year. The War Hawks will play host to Wayland Baptist in Kimbrell Arena at 2 p.m.
Information provided by McMurry athletics department.