For the fourth time this season the Howard Payne Lady Jackets reached the 80-point mark, and also established a new season-high in points in Thursday night’s 83-54 rout of the American Southwest Conference rival Hardin-Simmons Cowgirls at the Brownwood Coliseum.
The Lady Jackets (11-6, 7-2), winners of eight of their last nine contests, tallied 12 of the first 14 points against Hardin-Simmons (4-12, 2-7) en route to a 27-10 advantage after one quarter.
Howard Payne extended its lead to 41-17 by halftime, as the Lady Jackets limited Hardin-Simmons to 15 percent (6 of 41) shooting in the first half, with eight turnovers.
The Lady Jackets, meanwhile, drained 46 percent (17 of 37) of their first-half field goals, including four three-pointers. By the end of the night Howard Payne knocked down seven triples in 18 attempts.
HPU also owned a 52-46 edge in rebounds and forced 16 turnovers with 11 coming off steals.
Leading 63-35 through three periods, the Lady Jackets’ lead eventually peaked at 34 points, 79-45, on a three-pointer by Jada Evans with 5:06 remaining.
Five Lady Jackets finished in double figures led by Evans’ 20 points. Valarie Matlock contributed 16, Presley McKethan chipped in 12, Djimonii Jackson added 11 and Anastasia Willis recorded 10 points and a team-best nine rebounds. Also scoring for HPU were Chelsi Woodard with six points, Caprica Brooks with four, Julissa Ibarra with three and Arriyanna Forch with one point.
For Hardin-Simmons, Danie Mabry and Kaitlyn Ellis both finished with 13 points.
The Lady Jackets host ASC leader McMurry (10-6, 8-2) — a 74-54 winner over Sul Ross Thursday night — at 2 p.m. Saturday. With a victory, two-time defending ASC West champion Howard Payne could move into sole possession if Mary Hardin-Baylor (14-3, 7-2) falls to Concordia (7-9, 3-5).