Bulletin Staff Report
CLINTON, Miss. – The Howard Payne Yellow Jackets bid for a third straight victory – as well as a third consecutive upset of the No. 17 Mississippi College Choctaws – was thwarted Monday night in American Southwest Conference basketball action.
Mississippi College tallied a 78-70 victory over Howard Payne after the Yellow Jackets downed the Choctaws, 71-69, last season in Brownwood and upset MC, 94-90 in overtime, in the ASC tournament in 2008.
The Yellow Jackets (2-7, 2-5) slipped into a third-place tie in the ASC West standings with Sul Ross with the loss. The Choctaws (9-0, 6-0), meanwhile, remained the lone unbeaten ASC team.
Keith Perry led HPU – which shot 37 percent (25-of-67) – with 20 points, followed by 15 from Brandon Irwin and 13 points from Daniel Bubel.
Also scoring for the Jackets were Kanyon Payne with six points, Joshua Dada, Quentin Calloway and John Bryant with four each and two points apiece came from Henry Valladares and Zane Smith.
Donnie Haywood scored 14 points to pace Mississippi College, followed by 13 from Andre Thomas and 12 points each from Luther Suggs and Chazz Hawkins.
MC sank 40 percent (25-of-63) of its shots and owned a 51-40 edge in rebounds.
The Yellow Jackets trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half, but rallied to trim the halftime deficit to 34-29.
Mississippi College got off to a quick start in the second half, however, scoring 15 of the first 20 points to open a 49-34 lead with 16:21 remaining. The Choctaws coasted the rest of the way.
The Jackets will next travel to Manchester College in Indiana on Dec. 30.