Bulletin Staff Report
RICHARDSON - Nothing lasts forever.
The defending NCAA Division III national champion and 10th-ranked Howard Payne Lady Jackets saw their strings of 39 consecutive victories overall, 38 straight wins over American Southwest Conference foes and 22 consecutive triumphs away from home come to an end at the hands of the ASC East-leading UT-Dallas Lady Comets, 77-55, here Saturday afternoon.
The loss was the first for the Lady Jackets since March 9, 2007, when Howard Payne fell to Puget Sound, 47-44, in the ‘Sweet 16’ of the NCAA Division III national tournament. The 77 points scored by UT-Dallas are the most allowed by a Lady Jackets squad since Nov. 28, 2005 - a nine-point conference loss at Mississippi College 94 games ago.
The Lady Jackets (6-1, 4-1) - playing without second-leading scorer and key defender Katy Sarem, who missed the game due to an ankle injury - never led and trailed by double digits just 6:22 into the contest. Howard Payne cut the deficit to two points midway through the second half before UT-Dallas (6-1, 4-0) pulled away for the lopsided victory.
Trailing 44-42 with 11:01 remaining, the Lady Jackets were outscored 33-13 the rest of the way - highlighted by a 10-point UT-Dallas run that increased the lead to 70-53 with 2:31 remaining.
UT-Dallas held the edge in every major statistical category as the Lady Comets shot 42 percent (22-of-53) overall, 54 percent (7-of-13) from three-point range and 87 percent (26-of-30) from the free throw line, where they outscored the Lady Jackets by 14 points.
Meanwhile, Howard Payne converted 37 percent (20-of-54) of its shots, 21 percent (3-of-14) from three-point territory and 63 percent (12-of-19) of its free throws. The Lady Jackets also lost the rebounding battle, 38-36, and turned the ball over 22 times while creating 17 takeaways.
Four Lady Comets finished in double figures, led by 16 points from Lauren Hale, 14 points from Kori Joyce and 13 points each from Lyndsey Smith and Chelsea Edwards.
The Lady Jackets received 11 points from Brittany Zamora and 10 each from Hope Hohertz and Sarah Jockers. Stephanie Brewer chipped in nine points, five apiece came from Elaine Hobbs and Kelsey Miller, Tiffany Warner added three points and Sarah Pfiester finished with two.
Down 11 points at halftime, 36-25, the Lady Jackets opened the second half on a 9-3 run that closed the gap to 39-34. A Hohertz free throw at the 14:32 mark brought Howard Payne as close as it had been since the 14:25 juncture of the first half.
UT-Dallas responded with five points from Joyce to regain a double-digit lead, 44-34, with 13:13 left. But Howard Payne fired back with consecutive three-pointers by Miller and Brewer that trimmed the deficit to 44-40 at the 12:07 mark.
A pair of Miller free throws shaved UT-Dallas’ lead to 44-42 with 11:01 left, and the Lady Jackets remained within five points until a Smith three-pointer at the 7:57 mark increased the Lady Comets’ edge to 54-46.
A pair of Zamora free throws and a bucket by Brewer brought Howard Payne back within four points, 54-50, at the 7:09 juncture, but UT-Dallas responded with six of the next seven points - highlighted by a Hale three-pointer - to stretch the advantage to 60-51 with 5:36 to go.
Hohertz hit two free throws to make the score 60-53 at the 5:13 mark, but UT-Dallas reeled off the next 10 points to put the game out of reach, 70-53, with 2:31 remaining.
Howard Payne got off to a frigid start offensively as the Lady Comets tallied 19 of the game’s first 24 points and owned a 14-point advantage at the 12:33 mark of the first half.
The Lady Jackets, who trailed 8-1 just 3:08 into the game, cut the deficit to 8-5 at the 14:47 mark after buckets from Brewer and Hobbs. UT-Dallas answered with an 11-0 run to open its 19-5 advantage.
Edwards, Rachel Addison and Tarneisha Scott hit buckets prior to Smith draining a three-pointer, which made the score 17-5 at the 12:38 mark. Two free throws from Addison capped the run five seconds later.
Howard Payne slowly whittled away at the deficit and got within six points, 27-21, at the 4:53 mark. Warner drained the Lady Jackets’ only successful three-point attempt of the first half to cap an 8-2 Howard Payne run.
Trailing 25-13, the Lady Jackets’ surge began with a traditional three-point play by Zamora. Addison chipped in two free throws to boost UT-Dallas’ lead back to 11 points, 27-16, but Hohertz scored on a drive and Warner followed with the long ball.
The Lady Comets had another first half run in them, however, as a 9-2 scoring spurt pushed Howard Payne into a 36-23 hole with 1:24 to go in the first half. Following a Jockers bucket that made the score 29-23, Joyce and Lauren Jiles hit jumpers before Hale knocked down a three-pointer.
The Lady Jackets, who still own a 38-game win streak at the Brownwood Coliseum, will attempt to extend that when they return to action at 1 p.m. Saturday against Sul Ross. Howard Payne will not play its typical Thursday conference game this week due to finals.
ASC Women’s Basketball
W L W L
McMurry 3 0 4 1
Howard Payne 4 1 6 1
Concordia 2 1 2 1
Mary Hardin-Baylor 2 1 2 3
Hardin-Simmons 1 2 3 2
Texas Lutheran 0 2 1 3
Schreiner 0 3 0 5
Sul Ross 0 5 0 7
W L W L
UT-Dallas 4 0 6 1
UT-Tyler 3 1 5 2
Mississippi College 2 1 5 1
Louisiana College 2 2 4 2
LeTourneau 1 2 2 6
East Texas Baptist 1 2 1 4
Ozarks 1 3 3 5
UT-Dallas 77, Howard Payne 55
McMurry 66, UT-Tyler 65
Concordia 80, LeTourneau 55
Mary Hardin-Baylor 71, East Texas Baptist 53
Mississippi College 101, Schreiner 56
Ozarks 66, Sul Ross 51
Louisiana College 85, Texas Lutheran 66