Bulletin Staff Report
LONGVIEW — The No. 2 Howard Payne Lady Jackets will head into the Christmas break with their unblemished record still intact.
The defending American Southwest Conference champion Lady Jackets improved to 8-0 overall and 5-0 in league play with a 75-38 victory at LeTourneau Monday afternoon.
Howard Payne forced 34 turnovers and limited LeTourneau (2-7, 0-5) to 31 percent shooting. LeTourneau’s 38 points scored were the third fewest against the Lady Jackets this season, who entered the game allowing just 45 points per contest. In their last five games, the Lady Jackets have surrendered less than 40 points on three occasions.
Offensively, four Lady Jackets finished in double figures, led by Meia Daniels’ 18 points. Kim Hoffman, Stacey Blalock and Elaine Hobbs contributed 12 points apiece for Howard Payne, which shot 45 percent from the floor and 39 percent from three-point land.
Hope Hohertz chipped in nine points, followed by seven from Katy Sarem, two each from Makiesha Davis and Sarah Pfiester and one point from Mionca Hall.
Ashley Shepard tallied nine points to pace LeTourneau, while Alison MacQuilken racked up seven points.
Trailing 3-2 following a La’Queda Davis three-pointer, the Lady Jackets responded with a 17-5 spurt that staked Howard Payne to a comfortable 19-5 advantage with 9:07 left in the opening half. Blalock and Sarem both converted three-pointers during the run.
Back-to-back treys by Hohertz and Daniels allowed Howard Payne to push its lead to 32-14, then Hoffman gave the Lady Jackets their first 20-point advantage at 36-16.
The Lady Jackets were in front 40-19 at halftime and led 47-26 with 14:25 left before a traditional three-point play by Hoffman keyed another huge run. Daniels’ bucket with 8:37 left was the culmination of 17 unanswered points by HPU, which boosted the lead to 64-26.
Howard Payne’s lead peaked at 41 points, 71-30, with 5 ? minutes left thanks to a three-pointer by Daniels.
The Lady Jackets will return to action at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29 when they host UT-Permian Basin (1-9) in non-conference action.
Yellow Jackets 72
LONGVIEW — The Howard Payne Yellow Jackets’ win streak was snapped at four games at the hands of American Southwest Conference East division leader LeTourneau, 74-72, here Monday night.
The victory marked the first time LeTourneau (5-3, 4-1) had defeated Howard Payne (5-3, 3-2) in the program’s history.
The lead changed eight times in the second half with LeTourneau taking the lead for good with 2:09 left. Dewones Smith scored on an offensive put back, which put LeTourneau in front, 71-69.
Trailing 73-69, Howard Payne’s Lee Scott drained a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 73-72 with one second left. Smith then made one of two free throws with three seconds remaining, but Travis Dawson’s buzzer-beating three-point attempt was off the mark.
Tom Hermann scored 28 points to lead the Yellow Jackets, followed by 15 from Scott and seven from Dawson. Daytona Burch chipped in six points, five each came from Bryan Blalock and Brock Woods, Deandray McDaniel tallied four points and Gary Thompson contributed two.
Smith scored 13 to pace LeTourneau, followed by nine from Dusty Evers and eight each from Marcel Louimeus, J.J. Rockmore, Zac Majors and Jayme Bradley.
The Yellow Jackets trailed 39-36 at halftime, but Scott pushed HPU in front 42-41. LeTourneau regained a 45-42 lead, but HPU ran off nine straight points to retake a 51-45 lead. LeTourneau answered with eight straight points to regain a 53-51 edge.
Howard Payne’s second-half lead peaked at 62-55 on a jumper by Hermann. But again LeTourneau had an answer as it capped an 11-3 run with a three-pointer by Smith with 3:48 left to grab a 66-65 advantage.
The largest lead of the first half was eight points, 24-16, and belonged to Howard Payne. Burch’s bucket broke a 16-all tie, then Dawson and Hermann followed with three pointers.
Leading 26-18, the Yellow Jackets went cold from the floor as LeTourneau reeled off 12 straight points to claim a 30-26 advantage. Rockmore’s bucket with 4 1/2 minutes left in the half gave LeTourneau the lead, which reached five points, 39-34, on a three-pointer by Bradley with just under a minute left in the half.
The Yellow Jackets will return to action at 3 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 28 when they host UT-Permian Basin (1-8), which defeated HPU, 108-54, in the season opener on Nov. 16.