SHERMAN, Texas - The Austin College women's basketball team led by as many as 23 points but needed to hold off a frantic fourth quarter comeback bid by the University of St. Thomas (Tex.), topping the Celts 82-75 on Saturday evening in Hughey Gym. The 'Roos are 8-0 overall and 2-0 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play.
Austin College came out red hot from beyond the arc in the first half, knocking down 10-of-16 triples as a team to take a commanding early lead. The 'Roos led 30-10 after the opening quarter and went into halftime leading 52-31. Kacie West scored 20 points in the opening half, hitting 4-of-6 threes in the first two quarters of action. The 'Roos also got strong first half performances from Ally Longaker and Sarah Gwin, who scored 11 and 10 points before halftime, respectively.
The Celts cut the margin to 61-45 in the third before the 'Roo closed the quarter with a 9-4 run, getting two three-point plays from Reagan Chiaverini and a trey from Gwin to head into the fourth quarter leading 70-49. However, Austin College would turn the ball over 12 times in the fourth to keep the door open for the Celts, who out-scored the 'Roos 26-12 in the final frame but couldn't quite close the distance.
West finished with 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting, adding six rebounds in the win. Longaker notched a double-double with 13 points and 13 boards and also dished out six assists, and Gwin scored a career-high 19 points coming off the bench. Chiaverini chipped in 10 points, and Ann Savage had nine rebounds and a game-high eight assists.
Sheridan Hopkins led St. Thomas with 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Bresha Orange had a 20-point, 10-rebound performance for the Celts. Jazz Taylor added 14 points, eight rebounds, and six assists.
Austin College is home once more in 2019, as the 'Roos play host to No. 5-ranked Mary Hardin-Baylor on December 30 at 3:00 p.m.