LONGVIEW — The Howard Payne Lady Jackets notched their first American Southwest Conference basketball victory of the season, and first of Yannick Denson’s head coaching tenure, with Saturday afternoon’s 78-62 triumph over LeTourneau.
The Lady Jackets (4-5, 1-1) jumped out to a 17-8 lead after one quarter and never looked back. Howard Payne’s lead stood at 38-32 at halftime and 55-48 through three periods before the Lady Jackets pulled away over the final 10 minutes.
Five Lady Jackets finished in double figures — Chelsey Harris and Jada Jones with 15 points apiece, and Lily Janek, Payge Grable and Anastasia Willis with 11 points each. Willis also pulled down 11 rebounds to complete a double-double.
Also contributing offensively for the Lady Jackets — who shot 45 percent (27 of 60) from the floor, with five three-pointers, and 65 percent (19 of 29) from the free throw line — were Haile Tomlinson with seven points, Caprica Brooks with five and Julissa Ibarra with three points.
Though Howard Payne was outrebounded, 42-36, the Lady Jackets forced 21 turnovers while giving the ball away just 13 times. Howard Payne also limited LeTourneau (1-7, 0-4) to 32 percent (20 of 63) shooting, which did include seven three-pointers.
Sha’Donnaver led LeTourneau with 16 points, while Chauntel Acosta added 14 and Alexandria Thorne chipped in 10 points.
Saturday marked the beginning of a stretch of four ASC contests in a week for HPU as the Lady Jackets visit East Texas Baptist Monday then host Louisiana College on Thursday and Belhaven on Saturday, Dec. 15.