Down five points one-third of the way through the fourth period, the Howard Payne Lady Jackets finished on a 21-6 run to earn their sixth consecutive victory, 67-57 over the Louisiana College Lady Cats Monday night at the Brownwood Coliseum.

“I don’t know why they love to come from behind. I hate it, but they love it,” said Lady Jackets head coach Meia Daniels. “They stay calm, even if they’re down, they come back and fight. If we could have played the whole game like we played the fourth quarter, it wouldn’t have been a ball game.”

With the win, the Lady Jackets (11-8, 6-3) extended their lead in the American Southwest Conference West Division standings to 1.5 games over both Mary Hardin-Baylor (8-9, 4-4) and Hardin-Simmons (7-11, 4-4). Louisiana College (6-9, 4-4) remained a half-game ahead of UT-Dallas (10-7, 4-5) for the fourth seed in the ASC East despite the loss.

Trailing 51-46 with 6:32 left on the clock, Jada Evans — who led all Lady Jackets with a season-high 17 points — buried a three-pointer that triggered the rally. Alexandria Davis followed with a tying bucket in the paint following an offensive rebound as Howard Payne pulled even at 51 with 5:57 remaining.

“I told Jada today this was her time and that I’d been waiting all year for her to step up,” Daniels said. “She finally stepped up when we needed her.

“And Alexandria really stepped up big for us, too. I told her we needed her to rebound but to look for your shot and if you have it, take it. But she got a lot of rebounds for us and didn’t turn the ball over much.”

A deuce from Yessenia Cazares, who returned to the lineup after a three-game absence, pushed HPU in front momentarily, 53-51, before LC’s Kortney Kling knotted the score at 53 with 5:09 left.

Cazares then dropped in a three-pointer at the 4:44 mark to give the Lady Jackets the lead for good, 56-53. Cazares added another bucket, then Danyel Bradley drained a deuce and a trey to put the game out of reach as Howard Payne stretched its advantage to double figures, 63-53, with 1:26 to go.

The Lady Jackets shot just 35 percent (25 of 72) from the floor and 21 percent (8 of 38) from the three-point line, but forced 22 turnovers that resulted in 31 points. Conversely, LC caused 10 turnovers, but only generated 17 points off the takeaways.

Complementing Evans’ offensive performance was a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds from Bradley, 10 points from Cazares, seven from Caprica Brooks, six each from Davis and Valarie Matlock, three from Jessica Leaks and two points from Ashley Caldwell. Davis also yanked down 11 rebounds while Caldwell recorded six blocks.

“We always have someone that steps up,” Daniels said. “Regardless if it’s at the very beginning or if they wait until the end of the game to do it, at least they step up.”

Louisiana College converted 36 percent (24 of 66) of its shots as Kling led the way with 20 points and 20 rebounds followed by Rydeja McQuarn with 12 points and Brooke Jones with 10.

The Lady Jackets are off until 1 p.m. Saturday when they attempt to stretch their win streak to seven games at Sul Ross.

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ASC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

WEST DIVISION

Conf. Overall

W L W L

Howard Payne 6 3 11 8

Mary Hardin-Baylor 4 4 8 9

Hardin-Simmons 4 4 7 11

Concordia 1 7 8 9

Sul Ross 1 8 4 15

*McMurry x x 4 13

* ineligible for postseason/reclassifying

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EAST DIVISION

Conf. Overall

W L W L

UT-Tyler 9 0 17 1

LeTourneau 7 2 12 6

East Texas Baptist 5 3 12 5

Louisiana College 4 4 6 9

UT-Dallas 4 5 10 7

Ozarks 2 7 7 8

*Belhaven x x 6 10

* ineligible for postseason/reclassifying

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Monday’s Games

Howard Payne 66, Louisiana College 55

Ozarks 67, Dallas Christian 58