The Howard Payne Lady Jackets can secure at least a share of the American Southwest Conference West Division title as they seek their 10th consecutive victory at 5:30 p.m. Thursday against Concordia at the Brownwood Coliseum.
The Lady Jackets (14-8, 8-3) begin a string of three straight home games to close the regular season, and own a two-game cushion over Mary Hardin-Baylor (11-10, 6-5), which visits at 1 p.m. Saturday.
If Howard Payne defeats Concordia (11-10, 3-8), the Lady Jackets will finish no worse than tied for the ASC West crown regardless of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s result at Sul Ross (4-18, 1-10). An HPU victory coupled with an UMHB loss, and the Lady Jackets would lock up the ASC West title outright.
The Lady Jackets have not lost to an ASC West opponent this season, owning a 7-0 record — which includes two wins over McMurry, which is not eligible for the postseason this year. Howard Payne defeated Concordia, 60-51, in Austin on Jan. 23 and knocked off Mary Hardin-Baylor, 63-59, in Belton on Jan. 21.
Also Thursday, the Howard Payne Yellow Jackets will attempt to keep their home record unscathed and strengthen their hold on the fourth and final spot from the ASC West in the conference tournament.
The Yellow Jackets (9-13, 4-7), who are 5-0 at the Brownwood Coliseum, host third-place Concordia (12-9, 6-5) at 7:30 p.m. Concordia won the first meeting, 111-94, in Austin on Jan. 23.
On Saturday, Howard Payne welcomes Mary Hardin-Baylor (7-14, 3-8), which trails the Yellow Jackets by one game for the fourth seed. UMHB visits ASC West leader Sul Ross (13-8, 8-3) Thursday, and a Yellow Jackets victory coupled with a Crusaders loss would extend HPU’s lead for the final seed to two games with two remaining.