ABILENE, Texas – The Southwestern University Pirates women's basketball team committed 25 turnovers in its season opener, losing 60-42 on the road to Hardin-Simmons University (HSU).
Cecily Woolfolk led the Pirates with 13 points on 4-for-7 shooting, grabbing eight rebounds with a block and steal but was the only Southwestern University player to finish in double figures.
Both teams struggled to start the game with each team scoring just a single basket through the first five minutes. An end of quarter run highlighted by a pair of Woolfolk free throws and a Cydnee Lester 3-pointer gave the Pirates an 11-8 lead after the first quarter.
Hardin-Simmons broke the game open in the second quarter with a 16-2 run, forcing five turnovers as the Pirates missed their first four shots and shot just 3-for-11 in the quarter to trail 24-19 at the half.
Both teams got on track offensively in the third quarter. Woolfolk went to work inside, scoring eight points on 3-for-4 shooting from the field and 2-for-2 from the free-throw line. Kelsey Faykus came off the bench and hit two baskets and Zhazze Brown scored five of her seven points to help the Pirates scored 19 points in the quarter.
Hardin-Simmons answered with 21 points of their own, hitting four 3-pointers in the quarter with Karlea Ritchie (2-for-2) and Taylor Gaffney (1-for-2) pitching in a combined 13 points.
Trailing 45-38 a minute into the fourth quarter, Woolfolk was sent to the bench with her fourth foul of the game, sending the Pirates' offense into a tailspin. Without their offensive hub to organize around, the Pirates committed five quick turnovers. The disarray continued upon Woolfolk's return as Southwestern struggled to enter the ball into the post and committed 11 turnovers total for the quarter.
For the game, the Pirates surrendered 20 points off turnovers and 16 fast break points, hitting just 30.0 percent from the field.
Gaffney led HSU with 14 points and four assists and Maria Fernandez contributed 11 points and nine assists off the bench to give Hardin-Simmons its third consecutive win to open the season.
Southwestern University will return to the court for their home opener on Saturday, Nov. 17, hosting Howard Payne University at 2:00 p.m.