McMurry-HSU Set For Final Crosstown Rivalry
There are few more entertaining events in sport, than that of a true rivalry. The type of rivalry where both teams would do anything to beat the other team.
That is the case with Hardin-Simmons and McMurry and that rivalry was probably built around a basketball arena and filtered to other sports.
With the teams being just 3.6 miles apart, it is one of those rivalries that goes beyond just athletics. There are bragging rights and overall campus pride at stake when the two teams play.
On Monday evening at the Mabee Complex, the two schools will do battle for the final time as members of the American Southwest Conference and the intensity levels will certainly be at probably an all-time high.
The players on all four teams deserve for you to be there and you as fans will want to be there. Show up, be loud and give these kids the type of atmosphere anyone would want to play in. Both games should be hotly contested and both have key implications to the postseason race.
Hardin-Simmons has a 52-22 all-time advantage in the women’s series and leads the men’s series 42-41 after the win in December.
It is sad this will be the last one but I am going to recount my favorite HSU-McMurry memories from my 12 years as a part of this rivalry.
10. In 2004, HSU broke an 11-game losing streak to McMurry with an 87-85 win in Kimbrell. Freshman Zach Pickelman had 18 points, in his final game coming off the bench in his career.
9. HSU led by as many as 21 points but had to hold off a McMurry rally to snap a seven-game losing streak to McMurry in an 81-78 win earlier this season.
8. One of the most meaningful games in the series came in a Cowgirl loss. In the 2005 ASC Tournament at the Mabee Complex, Tarra Richardson had 24 points and 19 rebounds to lead McMurry past the Cowgirls. It ended the Cowgirls run as the top team in the ASC after six straight conference titles. Diana Martinez was brilliant in her final game as a Cowgirl with 29 points and 14 rebounds.
7. Matt Brackett and Zach Pickelman scored the final 11 points and a hard foul on Brackett that threw him into the scorer’s table caused the two teams to have to be separated in an 85-81 win in Mabee in 2006.
6. Lyssa Dennard had 20 points and Diana Martinez added 14 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists and played 49 minutes as the Cowgirls won 78-77 in double overtime at McMurry. Melissa Henley sent the game to the second overtime with a late basket and had the game-winning free throws late in the second overtime.
5. Marcus Smith had 22 points and Mardochee Jean had 16 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks as the Cowboys won 78-75 in double overtime in 2008. Alex Robles tied the game at the buzzer with a 3-pointer to send it to overtime for McMurry and sent it to double overtime with two late free throws in the first overtime. The game was probably best remembered for the fireworks after the game.
4. Rachael Singletary scored 18 points and Lyssa Dennard had 17 as the Cowgirls beat ASC champion McMurry 64-53 at Kimbrell Arena in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. It was the start of an improbable run to the Final Four by the Cowgirls.
3. The Cowgirls best team was in 2003 when HSU spent several weeks as the No. 1 team in the nation. McMurry had a freshman that was making waves around the league and some was wondering – even aloud on a local sports radio show and on KTXS – if she was a better player than Kendra Anderson. Anderson had probably the least amount of ego of any great player I have ever been around, but she NEVER backed down from a challenge. In a game at McMurry, West had nine points in the first half and was having her way. In the second half, Anderson in straight man-to-man defense picked up West the second she crossed half court and with her defense taught the doubters a lesson of who the best player was. West rarely touched the ball and went 0-for-5 in the half and the Cowgirls outscored McMurry 43-20 in the second half in a 76-48 win. The irony of the situation West was a great player and eventually transferred to HSU and helped lead the Cowgirls to its only Final Four appearance in 2006.
2. My first game in the McMurry-HSU series may have been one of the most memorable. Kathryn Otwell scored 19 points and freshman Kendra Anderson had 17 as HSU beat McMurry for the third time in the 1999-00 season in the Sweet 16 in front of a soldout Mabee Complex crowd.
1. The shot – Zach Pickelman hits a 3-pointer right in front of his dad’s seat to beat McMurry 64-63 in his senior season. The Cowboys overcame a nine-point deficit in the final 1:51 in the rally that was broadcast on D3hoops.com.
Let us all hope that Monday night’s games bring two more memorable moments for this list. The women's game starts at 5:30 and the men follow.
Come early and be loud and buy your “Beat McMurry” t-shirts and wear them to the game. They will be sold in Moody Center during lunch and also will be available at the door. All money goes to the Make-A-Change campaign and will be given to the Children’s Miracle Network.