KERRVILLE — With only four American Southwest Conference games remaining, the Howard Payne Lady Jackets are now in possession of a three-game lead in the race for the West Division title and hosting rights for the Feb. 22-24 ASC championship tournament.
The Lady Jackets knocked off Schreiner, 72-64, for their fourth consecutive victory, while Concordia upended Hardin-Simmons by a 65-58 count in Abilene. Howard Payne improved to 18-3 on the season and 13-2 in conference, while Concordia (13-8, 10-5) and Hardin-Simmons (12-9, 10-5) are now distant threats.
In the first meeting between Howard Payne and Schreiner, the Lady Jackets tallied the final six points to escape with a 48-43 victory. In Saturday’s rematch, HPU led comfortably throughout most of the game with the advantage peaking at 18 points, 70-52, with 3:24 remaining.
Schreiner owned an 18-17 edge with 6:58 left in the opening half, but the Lady Jackets reeled off seven straight points to open a six-point advantage and never looked back. At halftime, HPU was in front, 29-23.
As was the case in Thursday’s win at Texas Lutheran, the Lady Jackets again used a hot second-half shooting performance to pull away from their foe. Howard Payne hit 39 percent (15 of 38) of its second-half shots after converting 37 percent (11 of 30) in the first half, and also scored six more points from the free throw line. The Lady Jackets also committed just eight turnovers the entire contest.
Dana Marrs led Howard Payne with 14 points followed by 13 from Tresta Donahoo, 11 from Danyel Bradley, seven each from Britani Gattis and Kayla Scott, six from Breanna Conway, four each from Kyndal Broome and Shardena Hudson and two points apiece from Senae Dillard, Morgan Marriott and Blair Stone.
Defensively, the Lady Jackets limited Schreiner to 38 percent (18 of 47) shooting for the game and forced 18 turnovers.
Colby Adolph scored a game-high 22 points for Schreiner and added nine rebounds, while Lindsey Peterson finished with a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds. Early graduate Bailey Harris chipped in six points and two assists.
The Lady Jackets visit Sul Ross at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, host Hardin-Simmons at 1 p.m. Saturday, then close the regular season at Mary Hardin-Baylor on Feb. 14 and at Concordia on Feb. 16.