4-1 Howard Payne squads visit Louisiana College

The West Division front-running Howard Payne Yellow Jackets and Lady Jackets return to American Southwest Conference basketball action Tuesday night in Pineville, La. where they will face the Louisiana College Wildcats and Lady Cats.

The Lady Jackets (7-6, 4-1) are in sole possession of the ASC West lead, one game ahead of Sul Ross (6-7, 3-2), with the meat of the conference schedule upcoming following the holiday break. The HPU women and Lady Cats (2-6, 2-2) will tip off at 5:30 p.m.

The Yellow Jackets (6-5, 4-1), meanwhile, share the ASC West lead with reigning division champion Sul Ross (7-6, 4-1). The HPU men will square off with the Wildcats (2-6, 0-4) at 7:30 p.m.

Both the Lady Jackets and Yellow Jackets will travel to Jackson, Mississippi Thursday to clash with new ASC foe Belhaven and have an off date Saturday.

The Yellow Jackets are coming off a 67-58 road victory over Trinity on New Year’s Eve. HPU jumped out to a 29-19 halftime edge over the Tigers and held off the hosts in the second half as the Yellow Jackets owned a 48-36 advantage in rebounds and limited Trinity (4-6) to 35 percent shooting.

Khyce Randall led HPU with 26 points while Donovan Jenkins recorded a career-high 15 rebounds and J Bailey also finished in double figures with 11 boards. Rickey Guillory also posted a double-digit scoring effort with 12 points.

The Lady Jackets visited Division I Lamar over the break and suffered a 93-56 loss this past Thursday.

In their second game against a Division I foe this season, the Lady Jackets were outscored 30-7 in the first period and 28-16 in the third, as Lamar (7-3) led 47-23 at intermission.

Sabrina Ochoa led HPU — which shot just 34 percent — with 18 points followed by 12 from Sarahi Castillo and 11 from Kristin Cunningham.

Howard Payne was outrebounded 57-36 but forced 22 turnovers, despite committing 30.

The next home action for the Lady Jackets and Yellow Jackets occurs Jan. 19 when Mary Hardin-Baylor visits in the first of five consecutive home dates.