Lady Jackets can’t overcome large first-half deficit in loss to UT-Tyler

TYLER — The Howard Payne men got double-figure scoring from four different Yellowjackets and completed a second-half comeback to upend the University of Texas-Tyler, 76-71, here on Saturday.

Beaumont freshmen Khyce Randall and Rickey Guillory led the way for the Yellowjackets (4-6, 4-1) with 14 points each, while Gunter freshman J Bailey chipped in with 13 points and Yantis junior Ty Davis finished with 12 points.

The Yellowjackets finished the game shooting just over 42-percent from the floor, hitting 28 of 66 shots from the floor. They finished at 20-percent from 3-point range, connecting on three of 15 attempts.

Chris Rios led the way for the Patriots (1-11, 0-7) with 22 points, with 11 of those coming from the free-throw line.

The Yellowjackets’ defense held UT-T to just 20[percent shooting from the floor in the game.

After getting the game tied at 8-8 early in the first half, HPU would watch UT-T go on a 26-7 run to fall behind 34-15. But the Jackets were able to close the margin to 11 by halftime, trailing 40-29 as the teams hit the floor for the final 20 minutes of play.

HPU would continue to cut into the Patriots’ lead. Down 55-47 with just over 12 minutes to play, the Yellowjackets would go on a run. HPU got a layup from Fort Worth senior Brandon Gould, who finished with nine points, then a free throw from Randall, a jumper from Davis, a layup from San Antonio senior Sterling Smoak and another free throw by Gould and the game was tied at 55.

A quick layup would put UT-T back in front by two points, but a 3-pointer from Davis with 6:59 to play put the Yellowjackets up for good, 58-57.

The Jackets would trade baskets with the Patriots, before sealing the victory down the stretch with free-throw shooting.

Howard Payne is back in action on Monday, Jan. 5, when they finish up a three-game road trip with a contest at the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Ar. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

In the early game of the day, the HPU women had to rely on a comeback of its own against UT-Tyler, but the Lady Jackets would come up short, 76-63, here Saturday.

The HPU women fell behind 44-19 at halftime, but were able to outscore UT-T by 12 in the second half to get within the final margin of 13.

The Lady Jackets were led by DeSoto junior Danyel Bradley with 20 points and three assists, while El Paso junior Yessenia Cazares with 16 points and Ennis sophomore Jessica Leaks with 10 points were the only other HPU women to reach double figures in scoring.

Brittany King led four Lady Patriots (11-1, 6-1) in double figure scoring with 19 points in the victory.

Both teams started slow, as UT-T held a 5-0 lead with four minutes gone in the first half. After a basket by Flower Mound senior Kalin Hanna got the Lady Jackets on the board, UT-T would go on a 13-0 run to push the lead to 18-2.

By the time Colorado City freshman Mackenzie Kimball scored on a layup to get HPU into double-figures on the scoreboard, the UT-T lead had swelled to 34-11.

The HPU women would play much better in the second half, shooting 50-percent from the floor and 52.9-percent from the 3-point range, while holding the Lady Patriots to just 28-percent shooting from the floor.

The HPU women will be back in action at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 5, at the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Ar.