Targeting their third consecutive American Southwest Conference win and an additional boost in the league standings, the Howard Payne Yellow Jackets instead experienced their fourth defeat by four points or less.

The UT-Tyler Patriots emerged from the Brownwood Coliseum with a 78-75 victory over the Yellow Jackets, who remained in sole possession of eighth place in the ASC standings despite the setback.

The Yellow Jackets (3-8, 3-5) are seeking their first ASC tournament appearance since 2008, and the top eight teams from the revamped 12-team conference advance to the postseason. UT-Tyler (6-5, 5-3) remained tied for fourth place with Sul Ross in the conference race.

Howard Payne buried 59 percent (32 of 54) of its shots, including 50 percent (8 of 16) of its three-pointers, but UT-Tyler shot 55 percent (33 of 60) from the floor, including 41 percent (7 of 12) from beyond the arc.

The Patriots also owned a 30-29 edge in rebounds, including 10-6 on the offensive end, and committed 14 turnovers to 18 for the Yellow Jackets.

“I’m proud of our guys’ effort,” said Yellow Jackets head coach Troy Drummond. “We just had too many costly turnovers.”

Christian Davis finished with 15 points for the Yellow Jackets trailed by 13 apiece from Brandon Gould and Bryan Adams. Donovan Ford chipped in nine points, Quelan Lancaster and Jorden Young added eight each, Ross Whittet finished with five points and Nigele Robertson contributed four points.

For UT-Tyler, Travis Dykman notched a game-high 18 points trailed by 16 from Bryce Kemp, 14 from Jordan Cannon and 13 points from Nathan Harbour.

Howard Payne, which owned a 44-40 halftime advantage, last led 72-70 with 6:28 left on a bucket by Gould.

UT-Tyler pulled even 11 seconds on a deuce by Owen Osazuwa, then neither team scored again for 2:32 until Cannon put the Patriots up for good, 74-72, on a layup with 3:45 to go.

Kemp added a bucket with 2:32 left to stretch the UT-Tyler lead to 76-72, then Adams finally ended a 5:38 scoreless drought for the Yellow Jackets with a trey that cut the deficit to 76-75 with 50 seconds left.

Kemp tacked on an insurance bucket with 35 seconds left, and Ford missed a potential tying three-pointer with 23 seconds to go. Howard Payne did not attempt another shot.

In the first half, the Yellow Jackets’ lead peaked at eight points, 32-24, with 5:31 remaining following a three-pointer by Whittet.

Trailing 22-20, the Yellow Jackets went on a 12-2 run over a 4:55 span to gain their largest lead. Davis drained a three-pointer to start the run, which also featured two buckets from Gould while Davis chipped in a two-point basket as well.

ASC MEN’S BASKETBALL

STANDINGS

Conf. Overall

W L W L

UT-Dallas 6 0 8 1

Concordia 5 2 8 4

Louisiana College 4 2 4 4

Sul Ross 5 3 6 5

UT-Tyler 5 3 6 5

Mary Hardin-Baylor 4 3 6 4

Hardin-Simmons 4 3 4 6

Howard Payne 3 5 3 8

East Texas Baptist 2 5 4 6

Ozarks 2 5 4 6

Mississippi College 1 5 3 6

LeTourneau 1 6 2 8

———

Saturday’s Games

UT-Tyler 78, Howard Payne 75

Hardin-Simmons 71, Louisiana College 63

Mary Hardin-Baylor 77, LeTourneau 67

UT-Dallas 71, Mississippi College 60

Concordia 88, East Texas Baptist 78

Sul Ross 90, Ozarks 77