In a likely American Southwest Conference tournament first-round pairing, the Howard Payne Lady Jackets completed a regular season sweep of Louisiana College, 80-65, in Saturday’s home finale at the Brownwood Coliseum.
The Lady Jackets (14-9, 13-7) moved back into fourth place in the ASC standings, jumping ahead of Louisiana College (14-8, 12-7), but the victory had a price.
Senior Britani Gattis left the game with 10:17 to go after popping her shoulder out of socket and did not return. Gattis’ availability for the final two games of the regular season at LeTourneau Thursday and at East Texas Baptist Saturday will be determined later in the week, according to head coach Meia Daniels.
Despite missing their second-leading scorer down the stretch, committing 31 turnovers while only forcing 11 and being outshot 84 attempts to 57, the Lady Jackets were still able to find a way to collect their second consecutive victory.
The secret to HPU’s success — a career-high 34 points and eight rebounds from leading-scorer Danyel Bradley, who drained all seven of her three-point attempts, coupled with a season-best 64 rebounds as a team by the Lady Jackets.
“At the end of the day it comes down to putting the ball in the bucket,” Daniels said. “No matter how many opportunities you get, you have to make them count.
“I kept saying during every timeout to rebound and take care of the ball. I knew we had a lot of turnovers and we can’t afford to turn the ball over every other possession. I kept telling them as long as we keep getting rebounds, you’re giving yourself another opportunity. They saved us on the boards.”
Gattis chipped in 13 points and nine boards before she left the game, while Sarah Van Remmen contributed a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Shardena Hudson added six points and five rebounds, Kalin Hanna finished with four points, nine boards and seven blocks and Sarahi Castillo also contributed four points with 10 rebounds. McKinley Meyer scored four as well, trailed by Yessenia Cazares with two points and LaKortney Hyson with one.
For Louisiana College, Neka Jones tallied 17 points followed by 10 from Skylar Chenvert.
The Lady Jackets raced out to a 14-point first-half lead, which Louisiana College reduced to three points, 35-32, by intermission.
Louisiana College pulled even at 39 with 16:12 left, but Bradley drained a trey at the other end to push the Lady Jackets back in front and ignite a 13-4 spurt that gave Howard Payne a 52-43 edge at the 11:57 mark.
Howard Payne pushed the lead to double figures, 58-47, on two free throws by Van Remmen with 6:46 remaining, and Louisiana College never got closer than seven points the remainder of the contest.
HPU went 25 of 34 at the line.
ASC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL STANDINGS
W L W L
*UT-Tyler 18 2 20 3
UT-Dallas 15 5 18 5
Mary Hardin-Baylor 15 5 15 8
Howard Payne 13 7 14 9
Louisiana College 12 7 14 8
x-Mississippi College 8 11 10 12
Concordia 8 12 10 13
Ozarks 8 12 9 14
Hardin-Simmons 8 12 8 15
LeTourneau 7 12 9 13
East Texas Baptist 6 13 8 14
Sul Ross 0 20 1 22
* will host ASC Tournament; x-ineligible for postseason
Howard Payne 80, Louisiana College 65
Mississippi College 94, Sul Ross 69
Hardin-Simmons 88, East Texas Baptist 69
LeTourneau 62, UT-Dallas 61
UT-Tyler 78, Mary Hardin-Baylor 53
Ozarks 56, Concordia 53