Howard Payne remains unbeaten at Coliseum
The defending West Division champion Howard Payne Lady Jackets evened their American Southwest Conference record with their second home victory in as many outings, 60-45 over LeTourneau Monday night at the Brownwood Coliseum.
The Lady Jackets (4-5, 1-1) limited LeTourneau (2-7, 0-4) to 30 percent (19 of 63) shooting from the floor, including 11 percent (2 of 17) at the three-point line. LeTourneau also converted just 50 percent (5 of 10) of its free throw attempts.
Just eight LeTourneau players saw the floor and only five scored - all starters - as HPU owned a 26-0 edge in points off the bench. The Lady Jackets controlled the glass as well with a 52-41 advantage in rebounds and also forced 17 turnovers, including 12 on steals.
Offensively, the Lady Jackets knocked down 36 percent (23 of 64) of their shots, but hit 41 percent (13 of 31) in the second half as HPU turned a 28-21 halftime advantage into a comfortable victory.
Valarie Matlock paced the Lady Jackets with 16 points followed by Djimonii Jackson with 10, Anastasia Wills with eight, Presley McKethan with seven, Kristin Cunningham with six, Jada Evans with four, Caprica Brooks, Chelsi Woodard, Arriyanna Forch and Jordan Sweat with two points apiece and Dominique Featherstone with one point and a team-best 11 rebounds.
Keauna Whitfield led LeTourneau with 14 points trailed by Sha'Donnaver Young with 12 and Ashley Reed with 10.
Leading just 18-17 with 6:35 left in the second period, HPU finished with a 10-4 run to open a seven-point halftime advantage. Evans tallied four points during the surge with two each coming from Sweat, Jackson and Matlock.
LeTourneau crept within 34-31 with 6:34 left in the third, but another strong finish allowed HPU to carry a 42-32 lead into the fourth quarter. The Lady Jackets' 8-1 spurt included four points from Matlock, two from Willis and free throws from McKethan and Jackson.
HPU's largest lead of the game was 14 points, 48-34 on a jumper by Willis with 7:26 remaining, until Cunningham knocked down a three-pointer with 23 seconds remaining for the final 15-point margin.
The Lady Jackets will attempt to climb above .500 in ASC action at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Belhaven (0-7, 0-2).