RICHARDSON — The Howard Payne Lady Jackets dropped their American Southwest Conference basketball opener Thursday night, suffering a 67-57 defeat at the hands of the UT-Dallas Lady Comets.

The Lady Jackets (2-4, 0-1) led 19-10 after one quarter and held a slim 31-29 lead at halftime, but UT-Dallas (4-1, 1-0) surged in front 53-44 through three periods.

Howard Payne shot just 38 percent (21 of 56) from the floor, making only four three-pointers. The Lady Jackets also converted just 55 percent (11 of 20) of their free throws, were outrebounded 42-35 and committed 23 turnovers that translated into 24 UT-Dallas points.

The Lady Comets, meanwhile, drained 43 percent (24 of 56) of their shots, but only a pair of treys, and 65 percent (17 of 24) of their free throws.

Anastasia Willis scored a team-high 17 points for Howard Payne trailed by 15 from Jada Evans, 12 from Valarie Matlock, five from Chelsey Harris, two each from Caprica Brooks, Chelsi Woodard and Arriyanna Forch, and one point apiece from Dominique Featherstone and Djimonii Jackson.

For UT-Dallas, Victoria Pena tallied a game-high 26 points followed by 19 from Madison Steele.

The Lady Jackets open the home portion of their schedule at 2 p.m. Saturday against Southwestern.