Bulletin Staff Report
SEGUIN — The No. 2 Howard Payne Lady Jackets moved within one win of a perfect regular season, and also made sure they wouldn’t have to share their American Southwest Conference West Division title.
The Lady Jackets extended their string of wins over ASC foes to 29 games and their overall win streak to 24 games with an 88-34 victory over the Texas Lutheran Lady Bulldogs, who lost their 29th game in a row and for the 48th time in their last 49 outings.
Howard Payne (24-0, 20-0) — which has won 12 straight away from home — also secured an outright West Division title as it leads No. 9 McMurry (21-3, 18-2) by two games with one remaining.
The Lady Jackets will be the No. 1 seed from the West in the ASC championship tournament, which begins Feb. 29 at East champion UT-Tyler.
Kim Hoffman racked up a team-high 23 points for HPU, followed by 21 from Meia Daniels and 14 points each from Stacey Blalock and Elaine Hobbs.
Also scoring for the Lady Jackets, who shot 52 percent (31-of-60), were Stephanie Brewer with five points, Mionca Hall with three points and two points each from Hope Hohertz, Katy Sarem, Daphnie Pippins and Sarah Pfiester.
Texas Lutheran (0-24, 0-20) — which suited up only seven players — received a team-high nine points off the bench from Courtney Haskell. The Lady Bulldogs turned the ball over 34 times and shot just 28 percent (14-of-50), but TLU did outrebound HPU, 35-32.
Leading 7-5, the Lady Jackets went on a 14-0 run to seize control. Later in the first half, a string of 12 unanswered points resulted in a 43-11 Howard Payne lead. HPU took a 49-15 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
The second half started with a 13-0 Howard Payne surge as it increased its advantage to 47 points, 62-15. The lead reached its max of 56 points, 86-30, on a Hobbs bucket with two minutes left.
The Lady Jackets will attempt to secure an undefeated regular season at 1 p.m. Saturday at Schreiner. HPU defeated the Lady Mountaineers, 79-27, in the first meeting between the two teams in Brownwood on Jan. 19.
Yellow Jackets 64, TLU 58
SEGUIN — The Howard Payne Yellow Jackets snapped a three-game losing streak and locked up the final berth from the West Division in the ASC championship tournament with a 64-58 win at Texas Lutheran Thursday.
The Yellow Jackets (12-12, 10-10) — who missed the tournament last year — will face ASC East champion Mississippi College (18-5, 15-4) at noon Friday, Feb. 29 in the opening round at Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Mayborn Center in Belton.
Lee Scott led HPU with 19 points, followed by 10 each from Gary Thompson and Brock Woods. Bryan Blalock added six points, five each came from Daytona Burch, Deandray McDaniel and Chris Cornwell and Tom Hermann and Zane Smith tallied two points apiece.
Texas Lutheran (2-22, 2-18) received 22 points from Brad Howard.
Trailing 16-11 midway through the first half, the Yellow Jackets used a pivotal 7-0 run before halftime to establish a 36-27 advantage at the break.
Woods’ bucket gave Howard Payne a 31-27 edge, then Scott drained a free throw for a five-point cushion. Hermann scored following an offensive rebound after Scott’s second free throw came up short, then Scott stole the inbound pass and scored on a layup to cap the run.
The Jackets carried their momentum into the second half as the lead reached 16 points, 55-39, on a Scott three-pointer midway through the half.
Texas Lutheran closed to within 62-56 with 1:02 left, but got no closer.
HPU will close the regular season at 3 p.m. Saturday at Schreiner.