TYLER — Having defeated Louisiana College twice already during regular season action, the Howard Payne Lady Jackets could not pull off the hat trick in the opening round of the American Southwest Conference women’s basketball tournament.
The Lady Jackets’ season reached its conclusion with an 83-67 loss to Louisiana College Friday as HPU was eliminated in the first round of the ASC tournament for the second time in the past three seasons.
Howard Payne (16-10), which witnessed its string of 10 consecutive 20-win seasons end this year, was seeking its sixth American Southwest Conference championship overall and first since 2011.
Louisiana College (16-10), which had dropped three of its previous four games heading into the postseason, advances to face tournament host and top seed UT-Tyler, an 84-69 winner over LeTourneau, in today’s 3:30 p.m. semifinal.
Mary Hardin-Baylor, an 81-72 winner over Ozarks, and UT-Dallas, which knocked off Concordia, 79-70, will meet in today’s other semifinal at 1 p.m.
Louisiana College drained 11 three-pointers, including seven in the first half, as the Lady Cats opened a 45-37 halftime advantage. Meanwhile, the Lady Jackets failed to convert any of their 10 attempts from beyond the three-point arc.
Trailing by 11 points just 68 seconds into the second half, the Lady Jackets clawed back to trim Louisiana College’s lead to 52-50 with 14:23 left following a traditional three-point play from ASC leading scorer Danyel Bradley.
Louisiana College answered with eight of the next nine points to regain a comfortable 60-51 edge with 12:13 to go en route to finishing the game with a 31-17 surge.
Bradley finished with a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds for Howard Payne — which defeated Louisiana College by double figures in each of the first two meetings. Sarah Van Remmen chipped in 12 points followed by 10 apiece from Britani Gattis and Kalin Hanna, nine from Jessica Leaks, four from Shardena Hudson, two from Sarahi Castillo and one point from Yessenia Cazares.
For Louisiana College, Kaci Willis tallied a game-high 21 points followed by 17 from Neka Jones, 12 from Baylie Butler and 10 points apiece from Karyion Thompson and Danisha Allison.