AUSTIN — Despite shooting 55 percent and receiving a career-high 33 points from American Southwest Conference West Division Player of the Week Khyce Randall, the Howard Payne Yellow Jackets were unable to keep pace with the Concordia Tornados in a 111-94 loss Saturday.
Howard Payne (7-11, 3-5) — which suffered its second loss in a row after reeling off five straight victories — committed 27 turnovers which resulted in a 45-16 points off turnovers scoring advantage for Concordia (9-8, 4-4).
The Tornados were also aided by 61 percent shooting from beyond the three-point arc as Concordia knocked down 14 of 23 treys. Overall, Concordia shot 47 percent (33 of 71) from the floor and committed just 14 turnovers, which negated Howard Payne’s 45-30 edge in rebounds.
Behind a scorching 58-percent (23 of 40) shooting effort in the first half, which included a 10 of 17 effort from long range, Concordia opened a 67-38 halftime advantage.
Knotted at 7 in the first half, the Yellow Jackets fell victim to a 12-2 run which staked Concordia to a 19-9 edge with 13:46 left before halftime. The Tornados’ lead eclipsed 20 points, 52-31, with 2:46 left in the half and continued to rise, including five points in the final 18 seconds that put HPU in a 29-point halftime hole.
Howard Payne limited Concordia to 32 percent (10 of 31) in the second half while the Yellow Jackets remained hot, allowing for the margin to slowly dwindle.
Trailing by as many as 36 points, 80-44, with 15:26 left, the Yellow Jackets were able to gradually reduce the Concordia lead to a dozen, 100-88, with 1:25 remaining. The Tornados fired back with six straight points to push the lead back to 18 points, 106-88, which ended the Yellow Jackets’ hopes of a miraculous rally.
Along with Randall’s 33 points, HPU received 15 from Shadd Cole, 13 from Volney Willis, eight apiece from J Bailey and D.J. Gardner, five from Bryan Adams, four from Curtis Gile, three from Evan Vaden, two each from Willie Foreman and Cam Frank and one point from Baylin Gideon. The Yellow Jackets were without Rickey Guillory, who was forced to miss the game after being ejected from Thursday’s loss at Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Concordia’s effort was sparked by 31 points from former Yellow Jacket Donovan Ford along with 16 from Greg Rollins, 12 from Ephriam Price and 10 points apiece from Rashad Coleman, Ben Page and Josh Samuels.
The Yellow Jackets will attempt to regroup at home, where they are 4-0 this season, as they host Louisiana College (7-8, 4-3) — which is coming off a 69-56 win over UT-Dallas — at 7:30 p.m. Monday.