The Howard Payne Lady Jackets returned to the Brownwood Coliseum — and the win column — Thursday night, snapping a three-game American Southwest Conference skid with a 76-66 victory over the Mississippi College Lady Choctaws.
Howard Payne (13-9, 12-7) split the season series as it avenged an 82-67 loss in the first meeting at Mississippi College (9-12, 7-11) on Jan. 11.
The Lady Jackets remained a half-game behind Louisiana College — a 78-47 winner at Sul Ross Thursday night — for the fourth seed in the American Southwest Conference tournament.
Louisiana College (14-7, 12-6) visits the Brownwood Coliseum for the Lady Jackets’ home finale at 1 p.m. Saturday. HPU won the first meeting between the two teams, 78-67, on Jan. 9 in Louisiana.
Also, as a result of Concordia’s 71-61 loss to ASC leader UT-Tyler Thursday night, the Lady Jackets can finish no worse than fifth in the conference, as HPU owns a four-game lead over the Lady Tornados with three contests remaining.
In Thursday night’s HPU victory, the Lady Jackets drained 53 percent (16 of 30) of their first-half field goal attempts en route to a 43-31 lead at halftime. For the game, Howard Payne converted 44 percent (26 of 59) of its shots.
The Lady Jackets also buried six three-pointers, twice as many as Mississippi College, and were 18 of 22 at the free throw line, where the Lady Choctaws converted 9 of 13 tries.
Both teams committed 18 turnovers, but Howard Payne owned a 43-37 edge in rebounds.
Four Lady Jackets finished in double figures as Danyel Bradley and Britani Gattis both tallied 16 points followed by 12 from Sarah Van Remmen and 10 points from Shardena Hudson.
Also scoring for HPU were Yessenia Cazares with seven points, Kalin Hanna and Kyndal Broome with four apiece and McKinley Meyer contributed two points. Hanna also pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds.
Mississippi College was led by 13 points from Alexus Stirgus, 11 from Dominique Walker and 10 points from Jaianah Matthew.