The Austin College women's basketball fell short in its comeback bid against Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference-leading Southwestern University on Saturday night, falling 73-56 after the Pirates pulled away late. The 'Roos are now 7-10 overall and 1-6 in conference play.
Austin College fell behind 15-5 early after an Audrey Garcia three pointer with 13:26 left in the opening half, and the Southwestern lead grew to 21-7 two and a half minutes later. Brittany Stepanski and Brooke Melton combined for the next three points, but Southwestern responded with an 8-0 run to push the margin to 28-10 with 8:09 left in the first half.
Erin Riley knocked down a three and Shayna Clardy and Lexi Beeson each scored to cut it to a 28-17 game, and a basket by Melton brought the 'Roos back within single digits at 28-19 with 5:33 left before half. Once again Southwestern answered with a run, this time scoring nine straight to make it 37-19 with just over three minutes in the half, but Austin College would use an 8-2 run to head into the locker room trailing 39-27.
The 'Roos began to rally early in the second half, getting three pointers from Clardy, Christina Kime, and Riley as they closed the gap to 49-44 with 13:09 left in the game but Valerie Logan scored five in a row to push the Pirate lead back to double figures at 54-44. Clardy knocked down another trey to make it a seven point game with 10:32 left, but seven straight points from the Pirates would make it 61-47 and put the game away with 6:31 left.
Riley finished with 13 points, nine rebounds, and six assists to lead the 'Roos and Clardy hit 3-of-5 threes on her way to 13 points. Stepanski finished with 11 points, five rebounds, and two blocks in the loss.
Chelsea Leader hit four threes on her way to a game-high 24 points to lead the Pirates and Annie Bourne scored 19 points and grabbed 19 rebounds.
Austin College athletic teams participate as a member of the NCAA Division III and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
About Austin College
Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the college is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope's influential book Colleges that Change Lives.