McMurry University's women's basketball team knocked off Heartland Conference leader St. Edward's University, 57-54, on Saturday afternoon at the SEU Recreation and Convocation Center. The victory improved the War Hawks' to 5-8 overall, while the Hilltoppers fell to 8-5 on the year.
McMurry struggled with its shooting early in the first half, finding itself down 12-4 at the 14:33 juncture. But the War Hawks began to chip away at the deficit, eventually tying matters at 23-23 on a short jumper by Keshia Collins with 3:23 left until the break.
The Hilltoppers would eventually take a 28-25 advantage into the halftime locker room. McM would shoot 32.1 percent (9-28) from the field, while holding SEU to 29.4 percent (10-34).
McMurry opened the second half on fire. Tying the game at 30-30 and, after a trey by Katlyn Tarbet, took its first lead of the game, 33-30.
St. Edward's managed to regain and hold the advantage until the 5:41 mark. A defensive rebound and quick up-court pass to a streaking Jamie Wilson resulted in a layup to make it 46-46. A minute and a half later, a pair of Wilson free throws gave McM the 48-46 cushion.
A three by SEU's Casey Riley knotted the game at 52-52 with 1:30 left to play.
But a Collins free throw, was followed by an M.J. Vickers steal. Collins then popped another jumper to put McM on top 55-52 with 32 second on the clock.
Collins picked up her fifth foul with 24 seconds remaining and the Hilltoppers converted both free throws to draw to within one.
Tory Salazar was fouled on the inbound, but missed both of her free throw attempts. Wilson committed a foul on the rebound, giving SEU a chance to re-take the lead with 21.7 seconds showing.
But SEU's Kelsee Barr missed the front end of the one-plus-one and Vickers was there to corral the rebound. McMurry called a timeout as Vickers was hemmed in and used its final TO a second later when they were unable to advance the in-bounded ball.
With 14.6 tics on the game clock, Rikeita Thomas was fouled and calmly sank both free throws to make it 57-54. A desperation three by the Hilltoppers was off the mark in the waning seconds and the War Hawks celebrated the big road upset.
Collins led all scorers – as well as booking a double-double – with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Collins was 8-of-16 from the field before fouling out. She also had two assists and three blocked shots.
Wilson narrowly missed matching Collins' feat, grabbing a team-high 11 rebounds and scoring eight points. Thomas had 13 points, hitting 4-of-5 free throw attempts.
Vickers had three of her team's five steals in the game.
Information provided by McMurry athletics department.