With 2:40 left in the first half, the Howard Payne Lady Jackets trailed Sul Ross, 28-22, in American Southwest Conference action at the Brownwood Coliseum Saturday afternoon. A 10-3 closing run gave Howard Payne a 32-31 halftime edge, then the Lady Jackets erupted for 63 second-half points — including 41 in the fourth period — en route to a 95-65 blowout win over the Lady Lobos, which snapped a two-game losing streak.
Howard Payne led by just six points, 54-48, through three periods, but ended up flirting with the century mark despite sinking only two three-pointers the entire game — both in the second half.
After hitting just 33 percent (13 of 39) of their shots in the opening half, the Lady Jackets converted 69 percent (24 of 35) of their second-half field goals. Howard Payne also attempted 23 free throws, draining 13, over the final two quarters after going 6 for 13 in the first half.
Four Lady Jackets eclipsed double figures in the second-half alone — Jada Evans with 18 points, Presley McKethan with 12, Arriyanna Forch with 11 and Valarie Matlock with 10. For the game, Evans tallied 20 points followed by McKethan with 16, Matlock with 15, Forch and Caprica Brooks with 11 apiece, Anastasia Willis with 10, Djimonii Jackson with six, Dominique Featherstone with four and Julissa Ibarra with two.
Sul Ross (6-15, 4-9) connected on 32 percent (19 of 59) of its shots, but committed 26 turnovers that led to 24 Howard Payne points. The Lady Lobos were also outscored 56-22 in points in the paint, 16-4 in fast break points and 15-7 in second-chance points.
Erica Powell poured in 21 points for Sul Ross followed by Annie Lenoir and Keilah Williams with 16 apiece.
The Lady Jackets (13-8, 9-4) moved back into second place in the ASC West standings as McMurry (11-10, 9-5) fell to red-hot Concordia (12-10, 8-6) by a 67-65 count Saturday. Mary Hardin-Baylor (19-3, 12-2) owns a 2-½ game lead over the Lady Jackets, who have four games left on their schedule.
Howard Payne visits McMurry at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in a rematch of the Lady Jackets’ 75-62 home win on Jan. 20.