Howard Payne targets three-game win streak at Louisiana College Saturday

JACKSON, Mississippi — Leading by just four points at halftime, the Howard Payne Lady Jackets outscored the winless Belhaven Lady Blazers by 21 points over the final two periods en route to a 78-53 American Southwest Conference road victory Tuesday night.

The win is the second in a row in ASC action for defending West Division champion Howard Payne (5-5, 2-1), which moved over the .500 mark in league play. Belhaven slipped to 0-8 overall and 0-3 in conference action with the loss.

Leading 36-32 at halftime, HPU extended its advantage to 52-43 through three periods and outscored Belhaven by 16 in the fourth.

Howard Payne limited Belhaven to 29 percent shooting (7 of 24) in the second half with no successful three-pointers, while the Lady Jackets knocked down 43 percent (15 of 35) of their field goal attempts over the final two quarters, including a trio of three-pointers.

The Lady Jackets also forced 31 turnovers, which translated into 44 points, while committing just seven turnovers all night, which led to four points for the Lady Blazers.

Presley McKethan and Jada Evans led the HPU charge with 18 points apiece followed by Valarie Matlock with 11, Anastasia Willis with 10, Dominique Featherstone with nine, and two points apiece came from Caprica Brooks, Arriyanna Forch, Djimonii Jackson, Kristin Cunningham, Jordan Sweat and Kori Harrison.

For Belhaven, which owned a 33-30 edge in rebounds, Alexis Caldwell scored a team-high 12 points while AaLiyaha Thornton was the only other Lady Blazer in double figures with 10 points.

The Lady Jackets will attempt to stretch their ASC win streak to three games at 2 p.m. Saturday at Louisiana College (6-2, 2-1) — which picked up a 91-78 victory over Sul Ross Thursday night.