After a thrilling opening night win on Friday, Schreiner University's women's basketball team saw first-hand its potential and weaknesses with a 72-61 nonconference loss to visiting Hardin-Simmons on Saturday.
The potential was evident throughout the matchup, with the Mountaineers disrupting the visiting Cowgirls' offense and keeping the game close until the final seconds.
Schreiner senior Gabby Ivarra had a team-high 17 points and a game-high 14 rebounds on Saturday.
However, there were glaring weaknesses — like shooting. Schreiner shot 31% from the field, turned the ball over 29 times and the Mountaineers' 26 fouls led to 29 free-throw attempts. The saving grace was that Hardin-Simmons missed 10 of those free-throw attempts.
"The shots didn't fall but Hardin-Simmons is a really good team," said Schreiner coach Stacey Stephens, who is now 1-1 on the season. "(Hardin-Simmons) made everything hard for us. We've got to work on some more stuff but considering we only have three offenses in right now, I think we did really good."
Despite the problems, the Mountaineers were in the game throughout and proved dogged in their defensive efforts. Hardin-Simmons came into Saturday's game with a string of winning seasons and expectations, but they had their hands full against Schreiner's quickness.
Schreiner's Josline Hernandez had 17 points.
It was also another strong night for Schreiner senior starters Gabby Ivarra and Josline Hernandez, who scored 17 points each. Ivarra added a game-high 14 rebounds and had four blocks. The duo scored 11 points in the fourth quarter to keep the Mountaineers close.
Trailing 31-26 at halftime, Schreiner kept the pressure on Hardin-Simmons in the third quarter. Aazayleah Pirtle hit a 3-pointer with 8:46 in the third quarter to tie the game at 31-31, but Hardin-Simmons responded every time the Mountaineers got close.
The Mountaineers tied the game again at 7:55 on an Andrea Salazar layup to even the score, 33-33, but the Cowgirls responded with an 8-0 run. Schreiner would continue to hang around but could never put enough pressure to slow Hardin-Simmons in the fourth quarter.
Schreiner now hits the road next weekend with two games in Oregon against Willamette and Lewis and Clark. Schreiner will play both games in Salem, Ore. Neither Willamette nor Lewis and Clark played last season due to COVID-19.
Schreiner will close out November with a three-game homestand starting on Nov. 19 against Huston-Tillotson.