Howard Payne limited the Concordia Tornados to a season low in points, yet were unable to extend their home win streak as the Yellow Jackets suffered a 66-63 loss in American Southwest Conference action Thursday night at the Brownwood Coliseum.

Despite the loss, the Yellow Jackets (9-14, 4-8) still lead Mary Hardin-Baylor (7-15, 3-9) by one game, with two games left, in the race for the fourth and final seed from the ASC West in the conference championship tournament. Mary Hardin-Baylor visits HPU at 3 p.m. Saturday. The Yellow Jackets won the first meeting, 88-76, in Belton on Jan. 21.

Against Concordia (13-9, 7-5), the Yellow Jackets — who had won their first five home games this season — had a chance to force overtime, but Khyce Randall’s three-point attempt with three seconds left was off target.

Howard Payne — which lost the first meeting against Concordia, 111-94, on Jan. 23 — trailed by as many as 13 points, 41-28, with 17:02 remaining.

The Yellow Jackets fired back with 15 of the next 19 points to trim the deficit to 45-43 at the 11:09 juncture.

A layup by J Bailey at the 8:29 mark knotted the score at 51, then a pair of Evan Vaden free throws with 8:11 left pushed Howard Payne in front, 53-51. Shadd Cole and Vaden added buckets to increase the Yellow Jackets’ lead to 57-51 with 6:40 remaining, but HPU tallied just six points the rest of the contest.

Concordia drew even at 59 on a bucket by Greg Rollins with 4:51 left, then Rollins drained a trey with 4:40 remaining to put the Tornados in front, 62-59.

Buckets by Vaden and D.J. Gardner gave the lead back to Howard Payne, 63-62, at the 2:59 mark, but the Jackets did not score again.

With 2:37 left, Ben Page’s layup allowed Concordia to reclaim the lead, 64-63. Rollins then added the final points on a layup with 1:35 to go.

Vaden led HPU with 17 points trailed by nine each from Randall and Gardner, eight from Rickey Guillory, six apiece from Cole and Bryan Adams, four from Cam Frank and two points apiece from Bailey and Volney Willis.

Page poured in 16 for Concordia — which averages 95 points per game — followed by 11 from Rollins and 10 each from Rashad Coleman and Demarco Richardson.




Conf. Overall


Sul Ross 9 3 14 8

Hardin-Simmons 8 4 13 8

Concordia 7 5 13 9

Howard Payne 4 8 9 14

Mary Hardin-Baylor 3 9 7 15

*McMurry x x 3 18

* ineligible for postseason/reclassifying



Conf. Overall


East Texas Baptist 12 2 19 4

UT-Dallas 7 5 15 6

Louisiana College 8 6 11 11

LeTourneau 6 7 9 13

UT-Tyler 3 10 11 11

Ozarks 2 10 11 11

*Belhaven x x 2 20

* ineligible for postseason/reclassifying


Thursday’s Games

Concordia 66, Howard Payne 63

Sul Ross 77, Mary Hardin-Baylor 75

Louisiana College 71, UT-Dallas 60

East Texas Baptist 79, Ozarks 62

UT-Tyler 94, Belhaven 85

Saturday’s Games

Mary Hardin-Baylor at Howard Payne

McMurry at Hardin-Simmons

Concordia at Sul Ross

Louisiana College at Ozarks

East Texas Baptist at UT-Dallas

LeTourneau at Belhaven

UT-Tyler at Rust