HPU women tally fourth straight conference victory, win streak at five games overall

Four games into the American Southwest Conference basketball schedule, the Howard Payne Lady Jackets still own a flawless league record.

Thursday night at the Brownwood Coliseum, the Lady Jackets continued their stellar play and collected their fifth consecutive win overall, 59-47 over the Ozarks Lady Eagles.

The last time the Lady Jackets started American Southwest Conference action with four consecutive victories was the 2009-10 campaign.

Howard Payne (7-4, 4-0) cooled off offensively compared to recent outings, shooting just 34 percent (23 of 67) from the floor. But the Lady Jackets forced 24 turnovers while limiting Ozarks (6-5, 2-2) to a 34-percent (18 of 53) conversion rate on its field goals, as well.

The Lady Jackets made up for a 42 percent (5 of 12) effort at the free throw line by owning an 8-1 edge in three-pointers. Ozarks, which possessed a 44-43 edge in rebounds, converting only 50 percent (10 of 20) of its free throws.

ASC West Player of the Week Sarahi Castillo again led the attack for the Lady Jackets with 22 points while adding 14 rebounds to complete a double-double. Micah Cisneroz and Jada Evans also finished in double figures with 15 and 10 points, respectively. Other Lady Jackets getting into the offensive act included Sabrina Ochoa and Valarie Matlock with four points apiece, Djimonii Jackson with three and Dominique Featherstone with one point.

For Ozarks, Bryanna Moltz tallied a team-high 16 points followed by nine apiece from Rose Robinson and Delanei Stephens.

Leading 13-12 after one quarter, the Lady Jackets established a 12-point halftime cushion, 31-19. Howard Payne tallied the first 11 points of the second period — four by Evans, three-pointers by Cisneroz and Castillo, and a free throw from Featherstone — to double up Ozarks, 24-12, with 4:57 left before halftime.

After three quarters, Howard Payne’s lead stood at 13 points, 43-30, as the Lady Jackets scored the final five points of the period and held Ozarks without a point the last 2:32 of the quarter.

In the fourth period, Ozarks closed the gap to eight points, 48-40, with 6:13 left before Howard Payne was able to establish its largest lead of 14 points, 57-43, with 2:37 remaining on a bucket by Matlock.

The Lady Jackets, seeking a sixth straight win and 5-0 ASC start, host UT-Dallas (4-2, 2-0) — a 69-55 winner over Concordia in its last outing Dec. 7 — at 1 p.m. Saturday.