ALPINE — The Howard Payne Yellow Jackets recorded victories in their last three games to reach the postseason, but their win streak — and season — came to an end Thursday.
Facing East Division champion LeTourneau, the West Division No. 4 seed Yellow Jackets were dealt a 100-74 defeat in the opening round of the American Southwest Conference Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament.
HPU dropped a 98-63 home decision to LeTourneau on Dec. 11 as well.
In the rematch, LeTourneau (23-3) shot a blistering 50 percent from the floor in each half — 14 of 28 in the first and 20 of 40 in the second. Howard Payne (11-15) knocked down 35 percent (24 of 68) of its shots, including 40 percent (14 of 35) in the first half as the Yellow Jackets trailed 51-36 at intermission.
LeTourneau continued to pull away in the second half as Howard Payne converted just 30 percent (10 of 33) of its field goals attempts after the break. The Yellow Jackets did sink 20 of 27 free throws, but LeTourneau drained 20 of 25.
Howard Payne was also outrebounded 43-38 and turned the ball over 17 times, which resulted in 21 points, while creating just 11 turnovers.
ASC West Player of the West for the fourth time and ASC Player of the Year candidate Khyce Randall capped his career with yet another double-double of 37 point and 10 rebounds. Shadd Cole also finished in double figures for HPU with 17 points followed by Timothy Aguerro with eight, Darren Farmer with seven and Thomas Bingham with five points.
For LeTourneau, Alec Colhoff tallied 23 points trailed by Nate West with 18, Justin Moore with 11, Caleb Loggins with 10, Christian Seidl with nine, Javaughn Dantzler with six, Sam Talbert, Seth Mattson and Justin Eadeh with five each, Caylab Herrera with four and Cordele Jackson and C.J. Bird with two points apiece.
LeTourneau moves on to face East Texas Baptist (20-6), an 86-82 winner over Mary Hardin-Baylor, at 5 p.m. Friday. The 7:30 p.m. Friday semifinal pits host Sul Ross (20-6), which knocked off UT-Tyler, 86-77, against UT-Dallas (19-7), an 81-65 victor over Concordia.